Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation similar conditions Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause

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:

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?
  • 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

Last Updated: Jun 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Blood Clot Leg References
  1. Ansari MT, Cheung BM, Qing Huang J, Eklof B, Karlberg JP. Traveler's thrombosis: a systematic review. J Travel Med. 2005 May-Jun;12(3):142-54. [15996443]
  2. Elman EE, Kahn SR. The post-thrombotic syndrome after upper extremity deep venous thrombosis in adults: A systematic review. Thromb Res. 2005 Jul 5. [16002126]
  3. Gallus AS. Management options for thrombophilias. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2005 Feb;31(1):118-26. [15706484]
  4. Menajovsky LB, Spandorfer J. Benefits of more aggressive VTE prophylaxis in hospitalized medical patients. Cleve Clin J Med. 2004 Dec;71(12):947-8, 951-3, 956 passim. [15641523]
  5. Prandoni P. Controversial issues in the diagnosis of venous thromboembolism. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2003 Sep-2004 Dec;33(5-6):311-3. [15692234]
  6. Syed FF, Beeching NJ. Lower-limb deep-vein thrombosis in a general hospital: risk factors, outcomes and the contribution of intravenous drug use. QJM. 2005 Feb;98(2):139-45. [15655094]
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