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Treatment for Venous Thrombosis (Blood Clot)

A thrombus is a blood clot that forms in one or more of the deep veins somewhere in the body, commonly occurring in the legs and feet.  Venous thrombosis is a condition that results in the development of one or more blood clots within the veins.  The condition can be extremely serious because a clot may break loose and travel through the bloodstream.  If a blood clot lodges in the lungs, restricted blood flow may occur, causing serious problems.

Treatment options vary, however there are primary goals for each method.  Venous thrombosis treatment is designed to prevent the clot from growing, reducing the condition from occurring again, and preventing the existing blood clot from dislodging and causing pulmonary embolism.

Treatment Options for Venous Thrombosis

Treatment 1 – The Use of Blood Thinner Medication

Blood thinners are medications commonly prescribed to treat venous thrombosis.  They are anticoagulants that decrease the blood’s ability to clot normally.  Blood thinners do not break down n but prevent them from growing.  They are also helpful in preventing additional clots from forming.

A heparin injection may be given initially and followed up with a supply of pills.  Most patients require taking the blood thinners for about three months, if not longer.

Treatment 2 – Clot-buster Medication

For the more serious deep venous thrombosis cases, or in the event of pulmonary embolism, your doctor may recommend other medications.  If blood-thinning medications did not work, your doctor may also recommend the use of a group of medications known as thrombolytics.  These drugs are typically administered through an IV line and designed to break up the clots.  Since these drugs can lead to serious bleeding, they are only given in the most life-threatening cases.

Treatment 3 – Filter Insertion into the Vein

When a patient is unable to use blood-thinning medications, a filter may be inserted into a large vein in the abdomen.  This procedure helps to prevent clots from breaking loose and entering the lungs. The filters resemble an umbrella due their shape and the wire spokes found on an umbrella.

Treatment 4 – The Use of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings may be worn in combination with other forms of treatment to prevent clots and swelling related to venous thrombosis.  These special stockings are worn on the legs and extend from the foot to the knee joint.  They provide pressure that reduces the likelihood of blood pooling and clotting.  The stockings are worn for a specified duration of time, sometimes up to as much as a year.

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