Blood Clot Leg Treatment
Treatment for deep venous thrombosis includes leg elevation, warm compresses to the extremity, and anticoagulant medications (blood thinners). Anticoagulants prevent further clotting and allow the body to dissolve the clot naturally. The most common anticoagulant medication is low molecular weight heparin, which is injected under the skin twice a day. In some cases, a person with a deep venous thrombosis may be treated at home. Additional treatment involves using a thin tube, called a catheter, to mechanically remove the clot from the vein. After initial treatment, anticoagulant medication is continued for 6- 12 months, in order to prevent additional clots from forming.
In some cases of severe deep venous thrombosis, blood clots move from the extremities to the lung. The blood clot that travels to the lung is called a pulmonary embolism. Those who develop pulmonary embolisms require admission to the hospital for anticoagulant medications. Occasionally, these people also require treatment with medications that dissolve blood clots. In those with large deep venous thromboses, a mesh filter may be inserted into the large vein that carries blood back to the heart, in order to prevent clots from moving to the lungs.
Treatment for deep venous thrombosis includes:
- Elevate the affected leg
- Warm compresses to the affected leg
- Compression stockings
- Intravenous fluids
- Low-molecular weight heparin products:
- Administered by subcutaneous injection
- Offers the benefit of outpatient therapy
- Dalteparin (Fragmin)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Tinzaparin (Innohep)
- Intravenous heparin:
- Blood clotting studies must be monitored every 6 hours
- Fondaparinux sodium (Arixtra)
- Single daily subcutaneous dosing
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Thrombolytic therapy:
- Medications that dissolve blood clots
- Higher risk for bleeding complications
- Tenecteplase (TNKase)
- Urokinase (Abbokinase)
- Streptokinase (Kabikinase, Streptase)
- Alteplase (tPA, Activase)
- Reteplase (Retavase)
- Inferior vena cava filter:
- Used when anticoagulant therapy is unsafe
- Used when anticoagulant therapy fails
- Used to prevent pulmonary embolism
- Surgery for DVT:
- A catheter is used to remove the clot from the vein
Blood Clot Leg Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of deep venous thrombosis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Blood Clot Leg Specialist
Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat deep venous thrombosis:
Continue to Blood Clot Leg Home Care
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