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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)

How to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Preventing a deep vein thrombosis, also known as a DVT, is vital. A DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the legs most commonly, but can also occur in the veins of the upper extremities. That's because the blood clot, which usually forms in a calf or thigh deep veins, can partially or completely block blood flow back to the heart and cause damage to the one-way valves in the veins. The clot can also break free and travel through your blood to major organs, such as your lungs -- which...

Read the How to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (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: February 11, 2013
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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