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Postthrombotic Syndrome (PTS) continued...

“The way that blood gets back to the heart from the feet and legs is by being squeezed up by the muscle action in our legs as we walk around,” Cooke says.

Lying with your legs elevated above your heart can also help reduce swelling and pain.

“Unfortunately there aren’t great preventive strategies for postthrombotic syndrome other than making sure you don’t get a DVT,” Evans says. “The current recommendation is that all patients with a DVT be fitted for prescription-strength compression stockings to try to prevent the PTS.”

Get Moving ASAP

In the past, people with DVT were put on hospital bed rest to lessen the chances of a pulmonary embolism. But several studies have shown that patients who began walking after getting blood thinners and compression stockings were no more likely to develop PE than patients told to stay in bed. Talk to your doctor about whether exercising soon after a DVT is right for you.

Take These Steps to Prevent Another DVT

  • If you have had pelvic surgery or are hospitalized, make sure you are receiving DVT prevention. “Options in the hospital include low-dose anticoagulants, or blood thinners, and mechanical devices that help blood in the veins circulate,” Evans says.
  • At work or while traveling, get up and move around every hour or two.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese is associated with higher rates of DVT and PE.
  • Avoid taking estrogen if you have a family history of DVT. “Someone with a family history of DVT should think triple hard about taking birth control pills,” Cooke says.


Living With

See the causes, dangers, and treatments of DVT in this slideshow.