Deep Vein Thrombosis - Topic Overview
Treatment for DVT
usually involves taking blood thinners (anticoagulants)
such as heparin and warfarin (Coumadin, for example). Heparin is given through
a vein (intravenously, or IV) or as an injection. Warfarin is given as a pill.
Treatment usually involves taking blood thinners for at least 3 months to
prevent existing clots from growing.
Your doctor may need to
adjust the dose of your medicine. You will have blood tests often so he or she
can see how well the blood thinners are working.
also may recommend that you prop up or elevate your leg when possible, take walks, and wear compression
stockings. These measures may help reduce the pain and swelling that can
happen with DVT.
In rare cases, a
vena cava filter may be used. A vena cava filter is
inserted into the vena cava, the large vein that returns blood to the heart
from the abdomen and legs. A vena cava filter helps prevent blood clots from
traveling to the lungs. This device is usually only used if a person is at high
risk for pulmonary embolism and is not able to take blood thinners. It may also
be used if you have DVT that comes back again or you had a sudden blockage of
blood flow in the lung (pulmonary embolism) while taking blood thinners.
How can deep vein thrombosis be prevented?
are things you can do to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Many doctors recommend
that you wear compression stockings during a journey longer than 8 hours. On
long flights, walk up and down the aisle hourly, flex and point your feet every
20 minutes while sitting, and drink plenty of water.
Frequently Asked Questions