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Deep Vein Thrombosis Health Center

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Deep Vein Thrombosis - What Happens

Pulmonary embolism

When you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the main goal of treatment is to prevent the blood clot from growing or moving to the lungs. If a blood clot breaks loose, it can travel to the lungs and block blood flow (pulmonary embolism). A pulmonary embolism is an emergency. Treatment for DVT lowers your risk for this problem.

The risk of a pulmonary embolism can depend on the location of the blood clot. A pulmonary embolism is more likely if a blood clot is at or above the knee than if it is in the calf. But a blood clot in a calf also has a chance of causing a pulmonary embolism.

Recommended Related to DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About DVT

1. What is DVT? And how dangerous is it? DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in one of your body's deep veins, usually within a muscle of your leg. The biggest danger is that part of the clot could break off and travel to your lungs. It could cause a blockage known as a pulmonary embolism, or PE. Your doctor will talk to you about how likely that is to happen with your clot. 2. Are you sure I have a DVT? How is it diagnosed? People with a deep-vein clot in their leg...

Read the 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About DVT article > >

For more information, see the topic Pulmonary Embolism.

Risk of more blood clots

After the first time you have deep vein thrombosis, there is a risk of having blood clots again. Your risk can depend on what caused your blood clot and how it was treated. Your doctor will treat you to try to prevent blood clots from happening again.

Post-thrombotic syndrome

If you have had DVT, you have a risk of a painful complication called post-thrombotic syndrome. You can help lower the risk of this complication with medicine and compression stockings.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 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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