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How to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)


Preventing DVT After Surgery or While Bedridden continued...

Researchers continue to look at the best ways to prevent DVT after surgery. For example, some studies show that using regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, when possible, can decrease your DVT risk.

Here are other measures your doctor may suggest to help prevent DVT:

  • Take any blood thinners (anticoagulants) your doctor prescribes before or right after surgery. These may include:
    • Apixaban (Eliquis)
    • Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
    • Edoxaban (Savaysa)
    • Heparin
    • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
    • Warfarin, which is also called Coumadin
    • Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH)
    • Fondaparinux (Arixtra)
  • Wear a sleeve-like device on your legs during surgery to compress your legs and keep blood flowing through the veins.
  • Elevate the foot of your bed.
  • Get up and move as soon as you can after surgery, or after you've been ill.
  • Take pain medicine as prescribed to make it easier to move around.

Also to prevent DVT, do any leg exercises your doctor or other health care provider prescribes. These may include leg lifts and gentle foot and ankle exercises.

Prevent DVT When Traveling

DVT prevention is also something to consider when you travel. That's because sitting still for long periods puts you at risk. Because children tend to move around more, even while sitting, their risk is not as high.

Prevent DVT when traveling with these six steps:

  • Consider purchasing compression stockings at a medical supply store and wearing them during your travels. This helps reduce swelling.
  • Avoid wearing short, tight socks or crossing your legs for long periods.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid dehydrating fluids, such as coffee and alcohol. Dehydration causes blood to thicken and the veins to narrow.
  • When traveling by car, stop every hour to walk around.
  • Between connecting flights and during long flights, get up and move around. This squeezes the blood vessels, helping to prevent DVT by preventing the formation of blood clots.
  • If you can't easily move around, flex feet and curl or press your toes down often throughout your trip.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on April 13, 2015
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