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Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prevention

Preventive measures might be used before and after any procedure or event that increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These measures include:

  • Taking anticoagulants to prevent a blood clot that can form after some types of surgery.
  • Exercising your lower leg muscles to improve circulation in your legs. Point your toes up toward your head so that the calves of your legs are stretched, then relax. Repeat. This exercise is especially important to do when you are sitting for long periods of time.
  • Getting up out of bed as soon as possible after an illness or surgery. It is very important to get moving as soon as you are able. If you cannot get out of bed, do the leg exercise described above every hour to keep the blood moving through your legs.
  • Using compression stockings to help prevent DVT if you are at an increased risk.
actionset.gif Compression Stockings: How to Use Them

During travel

Sitting still for a long flight or road trip raises your risk of getting blood clots. It's important to take steps to prevent blood clots when you travel, such as getting up and moving around every 30 to 60 minutes on a long flight.

In the hospital

Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices are also used to prevent DVT. These devices inflate and deflate knee-high boots, which reduces pooling of blood in the legs. IPC pumps are often used when people stay in a hospital.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 16, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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