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.

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. Medicine and compression stockings may help lower the risk of this complication.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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