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Our approach to surgery integrates both body and mind. Our guiding principle is to treat you with the utmost respect, help you make an educated decision, and to provide you with the finest medical services in the safest, most professional and comfortable environment.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment Options

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, usually deep in the thigh or lower leg. This is a condition that can quickly become life threatening if the clot dislodges and travels to the lungs.

Diagnosis and treatment are, therefore, important steps in your deep vein thrombosis treatment. Together with your vascular surgeon, your treatment goals will be to:

  • keep the clot from increasing in size
  • keep it from traveling
  • prevent recurrence of blood clots

Depending on the severity of the clot, your vascular surgeon may proceed with thrombolytic therapy in order to treat the vein as quickly as possible. In this case, medicine will be injected into the clot with a needle or catheter.

Warfin and Heparin: Common Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatments

The anticoagulant medications warfin or heparin are the two most often prescribed drugs used in the deep vein thrombosis treatment. Both drugs work to prevent the production of proteins that are required in blood clotting. Warfin (Coumadin) is given orally and takes a few days to become effective, whereas heparin is administered intravenously and acts immediately. Some patients are given both drugs, while others are given one and not the other.

There are two types of heparin: unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin. Unfractionated heparin must be administered by a doctor, but low-molecular-weight heparin can be self-injected. Pregnant women cannot be given oral anticoagulants such as warfarin because of the risk of birth defects. However, both unfractionated heparin and low-molecular-weight heparin can safely be used during pregnancy.

Your vascular surgeon may recommend that you continue using the anticoagulant for at least three months, depending on your health and the severity of the clot. For long-term use, warfarin is commonly prescribed, though many patients use low-molecular-weight heparin for three or more months.

It is often recommended that patients walk frequently and regularly to promote circulation, elevate the affected leg, and wear compression stockings. Sitting for long periods at a time is often one of the contributing factors to the development of vein thrombosis, so it is best to take breaks at regular intervals. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may also be recommended to help alleviate symptoms such as pain and swelling.

For more information on deep vein thrombosis treatments

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