Deep Vein Thrombosis - Treatment

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What kinds of treatment, including medication, did you receive for deep vein thrombosis?

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What is the treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Superficial thrombophlebitis treatment

Treatment for superficial blood clots is symptomatic with:

  • warm compresses,
  • leg compression, and
  • an anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.

If the thrombophlebitis occurs near the groin where the superficial and deep systems join together, there is potential that the thrombus could extend into the deep venous system. These patients may require anticoagulation or blood thinning therapy (see below).

Deep venous thrombosis treatment

The recommended length of treatment for an uncomplicated DVT is 3 months. Depending upon the patient's situation, a longer duration of anticoagulation may be required.

  • Deep venous thromboses (DVTs) that occur below the knee tend not to embolize (break loose). They may be observed with serial ultrasounds to make certain they are not extending above the knee. At the same time, the cause of the deep vein thrombosis may need to be addressed.
  • The treatment for deep venous thrombosis above the knee is anticoagulation, unless a contraindication exists. Contraindications include recent major surgery (since anticoagulation would thin all the blood in the body, not just that in the leg, leading to significant bleeding issues), or abnormal reactions when previously exposed to blood thinner medications.
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Comment from: maggie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

Nineteen years ago I developed femoral, pelvic, and lung (pulmonary embolism) clots and was placed on heparin drip then Coumadin. About 3 weeks ago I was prepared for pelvic fracture surgery. I was taken off Coumadin, given Lovenox for about a week, for deep vein thrombosis. I had surgery. Post operation I was given Lovenox. I developed a severe hemorrhage and received at least 8 units of blood (PRC-packed red blood cells) and many units of plasma. I was taken back to surgery to remove a huge hematoma. Then I was given heparin. All were discontinued at discharge. Three days later I developed left calf pain. Four days after discharge, an ultra sound was done and a clot was found behind the left knee and descending. I was placed back on Lovenox for 8 days.

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