Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

  1. Links to Other VTE Resources | CDC
  2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
  3. The Truth About Sex Differences in Deep Vein Thrombosis
  4. The Ride of My Life: Kim’s Story of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
  5. A Good Defense Can Win the Game: What Athletes Need to Know About Blood Clots
  6. 6 Surprising Risks for Deep Vein Thrombosis
  7. 5 Blood Clot Facts Doctors Want You to Know
  8. 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Pulmonary Embolism
  9. Blood Clots and Anxiety Attacks After Hormone Therapy
  10. Getting the Right Deep Vein Thrombosis Care
  11. Pros and Cons of Blood Clot-Busting Procedures
  12. Overcoming Deep Vein Thrombosis After Hormone Therapy
  13. How to Protect Yourself From Deep Vein Thrombosis
  14. Estrogen Products Can Spike Your Blood Clot Risk
  15. When Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes Long-Term Damage
  16. Deep Vein Thrombosis: Not Just a Leg Problem
  17. What You Need to Know About Hip Replacement and DVT
  18. Ethnicity and DVT Risk
  19. How I Gave Myself Deep Vein Thrombosis
  20. Your Guide To Deep Vein Thrombosis
  21. Deep Vein Thrombosis – Hudson River Radiology
  22. What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
  23. How Serious Is DVT?
  24. What Are The Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis?
  25. Can DVT Go Away On Its Own?
  26. Get Interventional Radiology in New Jersey
  27. A Guide To Deep Vein Thrombosis
  28. How Do I Know If I Have Deep Vein Thrombosis?
  29. DVT causes or risk factors are numerous and they include:
  30. Your Guide to Varicose Veins in the Feet
  31. Risk Factors for Varicose Veins
  32. What Causes Varicose Veins in the Feet?
  33. Symptoms
  34. Treatment Options
  35. Thromboembolism (Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism) Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
  36. What Is It?
  37. Diagnosis
  38. Expected Duration
  39. Prevention
  40. Treatment
  41. When To Call a Professional
  42. Prognosis
  43. IBM Watson Micromedex
  44. Further information

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualityexternal icon
“Preventing Hospital-Associated Venous Thromboembolism: A Guide for Effective Quality Improvement,” offers step-by-step guidance to clinicians on how to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Originally published in 2008, the updated guide includes new and improved metrics for tracking the adequacy of VTE prophylaxis, increased use of electronic health records, more examples of tools, and lessons learned while detailing how to start, implement, evaluate and sustain a VTE prevention strategy.

American Society of Hematologyexternal icon
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatments of blood disorders.

ASH provides hematologist-approved information on clotting disorders. To read more about deep vein thrombosis, please visit here:

aspxexternal icon

Anticoagulation Forumexternal icon
The Anticoagulation Forum provides information on VTE family-based research.

CDC Travelers’ Health Yellow Book and DVT/PE
Preventive measures for travelers can be found in CDC’s Travelers’ Health Yellow Book.

Clot Connectexternal icon
Clot Connect’s mission is to increase knowledge of blood clots and clotting disorders by providing education and support services for patients and health care professionals.

International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasisexternal icon
The International Society on Thrombosis and haemostasis (ISTH) is a global not-for-profit organization advancing the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders.

National Blood Clot Allianceexternal icon
The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) is a patient-led advocacy group dedicated to prevent, diagnose and treat thrombosis and thrombophilia through research, education, support and advocacy.

National Institutes of Healthexternal icon
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) mission is to employ science in the pursuit of knowledge to improve human health. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is the section of NIH that provides information for professionals and the general public about blood disorders such as deep vein thrombosis.

Personal Stories of People Living with Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
The people in this Flickr® album wanted to share their stories of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis to help us all understand what it’s to have and survive these conditions.

Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolismexternal icon
On September 15, 2008, Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism – 2008 at the Venous Disease Coalition’s Second Annual Meeting.

The North American Thrombosis Forumexternal icon
The North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF) is a multidisciplinary organization founded with the objective of improving patient care through the advancement of thrombosis education.

Stop the Clot, Spread the Word®external icon is a public health education campaign developed by the National Blood Clot Alliance and CDC. Visit to learn more about the increased risks of hospitalization and blood clots.

This Is Serious®external icon
This Is Serious is the campaign developed by the Duke Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to drive awareness and action around the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots, in women.

World Thrombosis Day (WTD)external icon
World Thrombosis Day (WTD) is one day – October 13 – dedicated to focusing attention on the often overlooked and misunderstood disease burden caused by thrombosis globally. It is an annual day that energizes a collective drive to increase awareness and action through educational activities for the public and health care professionals throughout the year, year to year.


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

‘Stop the Clot’ program spreads the word on how to spot and treat life-threatening deep vein thrombosis.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

The Truth About Sex Differences in Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is when blood clots form in deep veins the ones in your lower legs and thighs. DVT affects men and women differentl…

Deep Vein Thrombosis

The Ride of My Life: Kim’s Story of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

How taking a road trip set the stage for one woman’s journey with deadly vein clots — and what you can learn from it.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

A Good Defense Can Win the Game: What Athletes Need to Know About Blood Clots

Being active in competitive sports doesn’t make you immune to blood clots. One doctor shares what athletes need to watch out for and offers tips on re…

Deep Vein Thrombosis

6 Surprising Risks for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Genetics, hormones, and having a cesarean section can affect your chances of developing the blood clots of DVT.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

5 Blood Clot Facts Doctors Want You to Know

Potentially fatal blood clots, known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), are more ly when you’re hospitalized or part of a high risk group. Learn how…

Deep Vein Thrombosis

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Pulmonary Embolism

This lung condition is often misdiagnosed and untreated. Use these questions to talk to your doctor about your risk, prevention, and treatment.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Blood Clots and Anxiety Attacks After Hormone Therapy

Patients who live in fear of another blood clot can take proactive, preventive steps.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Getting the Right Deep Vein Thrombosis Care

A vena cava filter and compression stockings are options, beyond blood thinners, to reduce your chances of having another blood clot.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Pros and Cons of Blood Clot-Busting Procedures

Should you opt for anticoagulant drugs or catheter-directed thrombolysis procedure to treat deep-vein thrombosis?

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Overcoming Deep Vein Thrombosis After Hormone Therapy

Ronda Cox was in her late 30s when she started hormone replacement therapy. Two years later she was in the ER with multiple clots in her lungs.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

How to Protect Yourself From Deep Vein Thrombosis

Be a proactive patient because, for the most part, blood clots of deep vein thrombosis are preventable.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Estrogen Products Can Spike Your Blood Clot Risk

Taking estrogen has the potential to cause blood clots. Here’s what you need to know, including what products contain estrogen and how to avoid them.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

When Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes Long-Term Damage

Blood clots can wreak havoc on your veins, leading to symptoms that can last for years.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Not Just a Leg Problem

A dangerous blood clot can develop in your upper extremities, not only in your legs. Learn if you’re at risk and why.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

What You Need to Know About Hip Replacement and DVT

The surgery puts you at higher risk for a dangerous blood clot in your leg that can travel to your lungs. Take steps to lower your risk.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Ethnicity and DVT Risk

African Americans have a higher incidence of deep vein thrombosis compared to other ethnic groups. Here's how to protect yourself if you're at risk.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

How I Gave Myself Deep Vein Thrombosis

People who develop enlarged neck and shoulder muscles are more ly to form blood clots in their upper extremities.


Your Guide To Deep Vein Thrombosis

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Learn All About this Sleeping Killer – Deep Vein Thrombosis

Did you know?

That over 600,000 people in the U.S.A. are affected by Deep Vein Thrombosis every year?

Also in the U.S.A., it is the second most frequent vascular disease.

Early detection can prevent escalation to pulmonary embolism.

Dear Reader,

Finding out too late that a loved one had a serious condition that could have been treated is devastating news.  Deep Vein Thrombosis, is one of those conditions.

Unless you have a history of Deep Vein Thrombosis, either for yourself or a loved one, you probably never even heard of the condition, let alone considered preventative measures.

Because many of the symptoms parallel other diseases DVT can be difficult to recognize and diagnose.  There’s also no disguising the pain associated with it.

Maybe you or your loved one has experienced an illness that required complete bed rest.  Thinking you are doing just what the doctor ordered, imagine how horrifying it can be to suddenly discover that was the one thing that led to a blood clot rampaging through your body.

The damage resulting from an control clot should not be minimized.  A clot this can journey toward the heart and make a convenient pit stop in the lungs.  The result?  That pulmonary embolism we addressed above.

Gone are the days when we could sail through life taking good health for granted.  There are too many factors to consider today.  Doctors are overworked, pressed for more billable hours by their business advisors, especially if he or she is associated with an HMO.

The only real way to look out for your health is to take control of your own body.  Read and learn everything you can about good and bad health.  We aren’t telling you to become a fanatic, but do become aware of your body.

Deep Vein Thrombosis can occur anywhere, anytime to anyone.  You need to know what it’s all about and what to watch for.

It can occur during long flights when you have little to no legroom.

A simple vein injury can cause DVT and a vein injury can be as simple as just bumping your leg.

Pregnancy greatly increases the risk.

Infection, liver disease and some cancers can cause it.

There is much more involved in getting the straight scoop about DVT.  Your best bet is to grab a copy of “Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis.” 

Not only will this guide address the issues we have brought up here, it will also answer question you didn’t even know you had!  And, it will do it in plain english not medical speak.

Nothing is a substitute for medical care, but going to the doctor anymore darn near requires the keys to Fort Knox!  You need to be prepared and know how to deal with your health.  “Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis” will answer your most burning questions without a costly visit.

Read it, learn it and apply it.  the Boy Scouts, “be prepared.”

What’s best for you?  Continue on wondering if those pains you experience in your extremities are just signs of getting older or could it be something more.

Get the answers you need before it’s too late.  “Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis” is just a click away and the information is priceless and available for pennies.  Get your copy now!


Deep Vein Thrombosis – Hudson River Radiology

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious medical condition that can go undetected. At Hudson River Radiology, we’re dedicated to making sure you have the medical information you need. In that spirit, you’ll find an informational guide about deep vein thrombosis below.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Your body has two types of veins: deep veins and superficial veins. When thinking about veins, most people usually visualize superficial veins, which are close enough to the skin to be noticeable.

Deep veins, however, are incredibly important, since they carry the majority of blood in a body. Thrombus is another term for a blood clot, so a deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot that has formed in your deep vein.

How Serious Is DVT?

Deep vein thrombosis is very serious. If left untreated, it can prevent your lung from getting blood. This is referred to as a pulmonary embolism, and roughly 10% of people who haven’t gotten their DVT treated have a severe case of this.

What Are The Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Sometimes, you can have a blood clot without realizing it. This is true for deep vein thrombosis, as well as clots throughout the rest of your body.

However, there are a few warning signs you should be vigilant for. As you may expect, most of these occur in your leg. If you’re having any unexplained pains, swelling, redness, tenderness, or warmth in one of your legs, it’s worth going to a doctor to determine if you have DVT.

It’s less common for the symptoms of DVT to affect both legs than it is for them to affect one leg. So if you’re experiencing the pain, swelling, redness or warmth described above in only one leg and you can’t determine the cause, you may be suffering with deep vein thrombosis.

The most serious warning sign is a combination of two different symptoms: pain or swelling in your legs that occurs while you’re also having problems breathing. If this occurs, you should seek a medical professional as soon as possible, since you might be experiencing a pulmonary embolism.

Can DVT Go Away On Its Own?

Over time, your body will gradually break the blood clot and absorb it back into your bloodstream. However, this process can be highly dangerous, since it can lead to a pulmonary embolism.

If you have a blood clot in your legs, you should speak with a medical professional. They will be able to let you know the risks of your deep vein thrombosis, as well as the best treatment methods available to you.

Get Interventional Radiology in New Jersey

Interventional radiology allows you to detect DVT before it’s too late. If you’re looking for interventional radiology in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place. At Hudson River Radiology, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people have the medical information they need.

If you have any questions about our facilities, or you’re ready to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling (201) 876-1111. If you’d prefer, you can also request an appointment online.


A Guide To Deep Vein Thrombosis

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Veins are blood vessels, much thin tubes, that systematically carry blood toward the heart and lungs. And it’s not vain to be concerned about the veins that run through our physiological system.

So hearing the term “blood clot” clot in the context of your vascular health can be very alarming. It can signal that you may have deep vein thrombosis. What is DVT? First, let’s break it down and clarify that there are two sets of veins in the arms and legs: the superficial (surface) veins and the deep veins.

If blood moves too slowly through your veins, or pools somewhere deep inside the body, it can cause a clump of blood cells called a clot.

When a blood clot develops in the deep veins of an arm, or more ly a leg, this is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which affects up to 900,000 Americans each year.

How Do I Know If I Have Deep Vein Thrombosis?

DVT symptoms may not initially “feel” obvious but they are noticeable (if you’re paying attention) and require a medical diagnosis. Symptoms include pain and heaviness in the thigh, leg, calf or foot; swelling that comes without notice; tenderness, warm or discolored skin; and soreness when standing or walking.

DVT causes or risk factors are numerous and they include:

  • Age greater than 40
  • Immobility from sitting or lying down for prolonged periods, making it harder for proper blood circulation
  • Inactivity after a surgery
  • Obesity with a body mass index (BMI) over 30
  • Hormone therapy and pregnancy, as carrying extra weight can put more pressure on the veins in the legs and pelvis
  • Smoking
  • Injury to the vein
  • Other serious health issues such as heart disease and cancer
  • Certain inherited blood disorders that cause blood to be thicker than normal

Lam Vascular & Associates can help you take charge of deep vein thrombosis. You may be asked to take blood thinners as prescribed or wear compression socks to help reduce the risk that a portion of the clot breaks off and travels to other parts of the body—especially the lungs. This is a serious DVT complication: If the clot breaks away and flows through the bloodstream to the lungs, it leads to a life-threatening and potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism. Fortunately, emergency treatment exists with blood thinners or stronger anticoagulants or thrombolytics that greatly reduce the threat of pulmonary embolism.

Deep vein thrombosis does not discriminate and affects about two of every 1,000 people, celebrities such as superstar tennis phenom Serena Williams and media mogul Regis Philbin among them.

DVT is a serious condition and the goal is to stop the blood clot cold in its tracks from spreading. At Lam Vascular & Associates, we are here to alleviate pain and save your legs. We want to help you return to the quality of life you deserve so you can enjoy activities you to do. We also diagnose and treat unsightly and painful varicose veins if you are experiencing problems in this area.

Trust your legs to Lam Vascular & Associates. We specialize in minimally-invasive, same-day vascular surgery. For your comfort and convenience, we have locations in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas. Click here or call 214.345.4160 to schedule an initial appointment and/or screening to get a leg up on your health.

The information contained in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice. Patient results will vary risk factors, age, disease and medical history and are not guaranteed in any way.


Your Guide to Varicose Veins in the Feet

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Varicose veins are enlarged, discolored, and twisted veins that stand out against the skin and the rest of the body’s veins. Varicose veins are essentially damaged veins that no longer have functioning blood vessel valves that help pump blood through the veins in the right direction.

Varicose veins can develop anywhere in the body but are more ly to develop in the lower extremities because our legs and feet bear the brunt of our body weight when we stand and walk.

Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can develop in people of all ages and backgrounds. However, there are risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing the condition. Here are some risk factors to keep in mind:

  • Aging – The older we get, the greater our chance of developing varicose veins as the veins experience wear and tear as we age.
  • Genetics – Varicose veins can be passed down through genetics. If you have family members with the condition, you may be more ly to develop it yourself.
  • Certain Occupations – Occupations that require extensive standing or walking for several hours a day increase the pressure on the veins in the legs and feet. Some examples include cashiers, teachers, and construction workers.
  • Weight – Individuals who are overweight or obese have significant added pressure on their bodies. The extra weight puts more pressure on the lower extremities, increasing the chances of developing varicose veins.
  • Hormonal Changes – Hormonal changes puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can also cause varicose veins to develop.

What Causes Varicose Veins in the Feet?

The feet bear the weight and pressure from the entire body when we stand or walk. Because of this, there is a strong chance that veins in the feet can become varicose.

This is particularly true for individuals who have the risk factors mentioned above. While most people experience varicose veins in the lower legs, many people also develop them in the feet.

Make sure to examine your feet for any unusual looking veins and see a veins specialist if you notice anything the ordinary.


Some symptoms of varicose veins include swelling, pain, burning, itching, and tingling in the feet where the varicose veins exist. Some people only experience cosmetic symptoms large, discolored veins.

However, this does not mean that other symptoms will not develop later on. The longer varicose veins go untreated, the more symptoms you will eventually develop because the condition continues to worsen over time.

Treatment Options

Varicose veins can be treated in a variety of ways and technological advancements have made the procedures faster, less painful, and more efficient. Some of the most popular ways of treating varicose veins include:

  • Sclerotherapy – This treatment involves injecting a medicine into the damaged veins to close them off, forcing blood to reroute through healthier veins. This prevents blood from pooling in the veins.
  • Ablation – Ablation involves closing off the veins through surgical procedures. By physically closing out the veins, blood can no longer flow through them and the veins eventually get reabsorbed by the body.

If you are looking for an experienced and high-quality vein and vascular medical center that specializes in a variety of vascular and vein-related conditions, Premier Vein & Vascular is the place for you.

Premier Vein & Vascular of Tampa and Largo, Florida excel in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vascular diseases such as stroke, chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and poor circulation. To learn more, please contact the vascular and cardiology healthcare professionals at Premier Vein & Vascular by calling 1-888-VEINCARE. You can also use their convenient online appointment request form.

Treating Varicose Veins: Know Your Options

If your unsightly varicose veins are wrecking your confidence, there are many effective procedures to consider. Learn more about a few of the most popular in-office treatments to improve the look, feel, and health of your legs.

Are There Signs That Varicose Veins Are Developing?

Varicose veins are abnormally gnarled or enlarged veins, visually apparent through the skin. They develop when the veins become damaged due to extended pressure on them or a condition that causes the blood vessel valves to properly function.

What Happens When Varicose Veins Go Untreated?

There is a common misconception that varicose veins are purely an aesthetic nuisance. This is simply not true! Varicose veins don’t just appear unsightly – they can also cause health problems.

Can Young People Get Varicose Veins, Too?

When you read the words ‘varicose veins,’ which age group do you think of? If you are most people, you probably think of older adults in their 60s and 70s. Varicose veins are rarely associated with young adults…

Do Compression Socks Really Work?

Compression socks are legwear designed to increase blood circulation. They are made to fit tightly on the legs and are typically made of stretchy material that squeezes the legs.


Thromboembolism (Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism) Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Your Guide to Deep Vein Thrombosis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 6, 2020.

What Is It?

A deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms inside deep veins in your legs or pelvis. The clot blocks blood flow and causes pressure to build up in the vein. Part of the clot can break away and move through your bloodstream to your lungs. If the clot blocks one or more of the blood vessels in your lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism.

DVT is a common problem. Most of these clots occur when blood flow in the veins of the legs is slowed. This is usually as a result of inactivity.

Ordinarily, as you walk around, your leg muscles squeeze your veins and keep blood flowing back to the heart. But if you are inactive for many hours, blood flow in the veins of your legs may slow so much that clots form. Long periods of inactivity can occur during a long airplane flight or while recovering from an operation or stroke, for example.

Certain people are more ly to get blood clots. These include:

  • People with some medical problems, including cancers and inherited abnormalities of the blood-clotting system

  • People on certain medications, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy

  • Pregnant women

  • People who are very overweight

  • People with heart failure

Anyone who develops DVT is at risk of developing a pulmonary embolism.

A pulmonary embolism can lead to a sudden and sometimes very dramatic decrease in blood flow through the lungs. The decrease in blood flow can reduce the amount of blood flowing to your heart and the rest of your body. This can cause a drop in blood pressure and lead to fainting spells and even sudden death.

The blood flow decreases in part because the blood clot blocks blood flow. In addition, the blockage damages the walls of the lung's blood vessels. The damage releases chemicals that cause blood vessels to narrow.


To diagnose DVT, your doctor will examine your legs to check for swelling and tenderness. He or she will ask about your symptoms and risk factors.

the findings, your doctor may order a D-Dimer blood test or an ultrasound of your legs.

The blood test measures the level of a chemical called D-Dimer. It is almost always abnormally high when blood clots are actively forming in the body.

An ultrasound of your legs is done to look for blood flow problems in your veins. This procedure is called a lower extremity non-invasive test, or LENI. If the LENI shows evidence of a blood clot, your doctor will diagnose DVT.

If the initial LENI is negative, it does not mean that there is no clot. It may be too early to see the full effect of the clot. Your doctor may ask that you return in three to four days for a repeat LENI.

If your doctor suspects you have a pulmonary embolism, he or she will first try to determine if you have DVT. If the LENI shows one or more blood clots in your leg veins, and you have symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, an embolism is the most ly diagnosis.

Or your doctor may order computed tomography (CT) of the chest. The test requires an IV injection of dye to look for blood clots in the pulmonary arteries. People that have impaired kidney function or an allergy to the dye might need a different type of lung scan called a V/Q scan to examine lung blood flow.

Expected Duration

If you have a DVT or pulmonary embolism, your symptoms should improve within a few days after starting treatment with blood-thinning medication. You will need to take medication for at least three to six months to prevent more blood clots from forming.

Most people recover completely. But some people who had a very large pulmonary embolism or who already had lung disease will continue to have lung problems.

Some people who have had a DVT develop a long-term problem with swelling of their legs. This is called post-phlebitic syndrome. These people often need to wear special stockings that help squeeze blood back toward the heart.


Most DVTs and pulmonary embolisms develop in people who are inactive because of an injury or surgery.

If you have had a DVT or pulmonary embolism, or you have a family history of blood-clotting problems, you can help prevent blood clots. Do the following:

  • Ask your doctor if you have any risk factors for blood clots that can be changed.

  • Avoid all medications that may cause blood clots. These include birth control pills and other medications that contain estrogen.

  • Drink a lot of water and walk around frequently when on long plane flights or car trips.

  • Avoid prolonged periods of bed rest.

  • Discuss your history of DVT and pulmonary embolism with your physician before considering any surgical procedures.


The initial treatment for a DVT or pulmonary embolism is heparin or one of the new novel oral anti-coagulant drugs. These medications act on certain blood proteins to prevent new blood clot formation and therefore help unwanted clots get smaller. They are commonly called “blood thinners.”

There are two main types of heparin. The oldest type of heparin is best administered by a constant intravenous infusion. Another type of heparin is called low-molecular-weight heparin. It is injected under the skin once or twice per day.

Some of the newer anti-coagulant drugs are approved for initial treatment of DVT and pulmonary embolism. Examples include rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis).

If you have a DVT without a pulmonary embolism, you may not need to be hospitalized. You could be treated at home with injections of a low-molecular-weight heparin or either rivaroxaban or apixaban.

Some people may need to start therapy in the hospital. In this case, the type of heparin used is determined by many factors. These include body weight, kidney function and other circumstances.

If you have a pulmonary embolism, you will probably be hospitalized. If so, you ly will be treated with either type of heparin initially. But oral rivaroxaban or apixaban could be an option instead of heparin if your pulmonary embolism is small.

If you are started on either IV heparin or low-molecular weight heparin shots under the skin, your doctor will transition you to an oral drug. Traditional oral therapy has been warfarin (Coumadin). For decades, it was the only oral drug to treat DVT and pulmonary embolism.

Today, in addition to rivaroxaban and apixaban, another novel oral anti-coagulant can be used after heparin. It's dabigatran (Pradaxa). More of these types of drugs will be approved soon.

Warfarin takes a few days to start working. Once a blood test shows that warfarin is effective, you will stop taking heparin. You will continue taking warfarin for several months or longer.

During the first few weeks that you take warfarin, you will continue to need frequent blood tests to make sure you are taking the right amount. Once your blood test results consistently show that you are taking the right amount of medication, blood can be drawn every two to four weeks.

Some foods—especially green, leafy vegetables that contain large amounts of vitamin K—can alter the blood-thinning action of warfarin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of these foods. You can continue to eat these foods as long as you eat approximately the same amount of them each day. That way, the effect on your medication will be consistent.

Other medications can also affect how warfarin works in your body. Tell any doctor who is prescribing medications for you that you are taking warfarin.

The new novel oral anti-coagulants don't require regular blood testing. They are given in a fixed dose. The other advantage is not worrying about eating food with too much vitamin K.

When To Call a Professional

Call your doctor or go to a hospital emergency room immediately if you develop shortness of breath or sharp chest pain.

Call your doctor if you have new unexplained onset of swelling and pain in one leg.

Even if you are scheduled for a repeat LENI test in three or four days, call your doctor sooner if your leg swelling worsens.


Without treatment, a pulmonary embolism can be deadly. With appropriate and timely treatment, the outlook is very good.

Once you develop a DVT or pulmonary embolism, you are usually more ly to develop a second blood clot. This is because the original blood clot damages some of your leg veins. Now, your blood does not move as quickly or smoothly through these veins. This increases your risk of a new blood clot.

However, if there is a clear reason that the blood clot formed, such as a long bed rest after surgery or an injury that damaged your blood vessels, your risk of developing more blood clots is relatively low unless you are forced to be inactive again or have another injury.

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Further information

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