Deep Vein Thrombosis (Blood Clot in the Leg, DVT)
Deep Vein Thrombosis Prevention
The key to prevention is to reverse any risk factors, for example:
- If a person is obese, lose weight.
- Avoid periods of prolonged immobility.
- Keep the legs elevated while sitting down or in bed.
- Avoid high-dose estrogen pills, unless they are deemed necessary by your doctor.
If you have had surgery recently, preventive treatment may be prescribed to avoid formation of a clot.
- You may be instructed to get out of bed several times a day during the recovery period.
- Sequential compression devices (SCDs) may be placed on the legs. Their squeezing action has been shown to reduce the probability of clot formation. You also may be given elastic stockings to wear.
- Treatments such as low-molecular-weight heparin or low-dose warfarin may be prescribed to prevent clot formation.
Many DVTs will get better without further problems. Some people will develop a condition called post-phlebitic syndrome that involves continued swelling and pain.
If a person has had one deep vein thrombosis, they are more likely than the average person to have another deep vein thrombosis. One third of all people who have DVT will have another one within 10 years.