Know About Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Date: 03 Nov, 2022

Author: AngeloEan

When a person develops a blood clot in the deep veins in their body, this is called deep vein thrombosis or DVT. As with varicose veins, these issues usually appear in the leg, though deep vein thrombosis can develop in other parts of the body as well. The main complication of DVT is something called a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot within the affected vein breaks off and travels through the bloodstream to the lung where it can become lodged. This can have serious consequences and is the main reason why medical treatment is recommended for DVT.

What is the Treatment process like?

A DVT can be treated with medications designed to thin the blood, preventing further clotting. In certain circumstances, intervention may be required to remove the clot rather than relying just on medications. This is achieved by injecting a ‘clot-busting’ medication directly into the vein through a small catheter that is inserted through one of the veins in the legs. The catheter can then be used like a vacuum to remove the remnants of the clot and open the affected vein. This treatment is effective and is also minimally invasive, requiring a simple bandaid at the access site and it can be done under local anaesthetic. The most appropriate DVT treatment for you will be determined by your vascular surgeon.

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After the treatment, or if it is determined the clot will be best treated with anticoagulants alone, your doctor will prescribe you anticoagulant medication. The duration of time you will need to take this medication depends on several factors, such as the ones listed below:

Generally, if it is deemed unlikely that you will develop another clot, then you will be recommended short-term treatment. This will often be around three to six months.

If you are prone to developing more blood clots, then your surgeon (often in collaboration with a haematologist) may recommend that you continue with your DVT treatment for a longer period – in certain situations they may recommend lifelong treatment with the blood thinners.

When will you Start Seeing Improvements?

If you are treated with blood thinners but do not have intervention, it takes several weeks, or sometimes months for your body to naturally break down and absorb the blood clot. Sometimes the body is unable to completely clear the clot. In such situations where there is still some chronic restriction to blood flow back to the heart through the narrowed or blocked vein, the body can develop new veins or collaterals. These act as a new route for blood to return to the heart. Often symptom resolution coincides with the time it takes for the body to dissolve the clot (which can be days to weeks if the treatment is started very soon after the clot has formed).

However, if the clot is not treated early enough, it can become fibrous scar tissue – or chronic clot – and it might take the body many months to develop new collateral veins to redivert the blood back to the heart. In these circumstances, the symptoms can take months to dissipate, or they may not dissipate at all.

So, if you currently have deep vein thrombosis or have suffered from it previously and are looking for prevention methods, start looking for a ‘vascular surgeon near me’ so you can meet with a professional and begin discussing the best options for your DVT treatment.

By AngeloEan

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