Deep vein thrombosis - discharge


Definition

You were treated for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that is not on or near the surface of the body.

It mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow. If the clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, it can get stuck in the blood vessels in the brain, lungs, heart, or other areas of the body, leading to severe damage.

Alternative Names

DVT - discharge; Blood clot in the legs - discharge; Thromboembolism - discharge; Venous thromboembolism - deep vein thrombosis; Post-phlebitic syndrome - discharge; Post-thrombotic syndrome - discharge

Self-care

Wear the pressure stockings prescribed by your doctor. They will improve blood flow in your legs and may lower your risk of long-term complications and problems with blood clots.

Your doctor may give you medicine to thin your blood to help keep more clots from forming. The drug warfarin is an example of a blood thinner. If you're prescribed a blood thinner:

Ask your provider what exercises and other activities are safe for you to do.

DO NOT sit or lie down in the same position for long periods.

If swelling is a problem, keep your legs resting above your heart. When sleeping, make the foot of the bed a few inches higher than the head of the bed.

DO NOT wear tight clothing on your legs or around your waist. If your clothes leave a mark in your skin, they are too tight.

When traveling:

DO NOT smoke. If you do, ask your provider for help quitting.

Drink at least 6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 liters) of liquid a day, if your provider says it is OK.

Use less salt.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if:

References

Guyatt GH, Akl EA, Crowther M, Gutterman DD, Schuünemann HJ; American College of Chest Physicians Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Panel. Executive summary: antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest. 2012;141(2 suppl):7s-47s. PMID: 22315257 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22315257.

Kline JA. Pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 88.


Review Date: 3/13/2016
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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