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Deep Vein Thrombosis – After Diagnosis



What do you do if you’ve been diagnosed with a DVT? The first thing is not to panic. It is not an emergency. You have time. If you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important to first understand why. What are some of the things that could have caused this? Do a complete history with your doctor and look at the medications, lifestyle factors, family history, to determine why this happened so we can prevent it from happening again, or prevent it from getting worse. Next we have to discuss treatment options. Is the DVT in one area? Is it in multiple areas? What is the risk of the DVT embolizing and going somewhere else? Most DVTs require treatment with a blood thinner. We have many different kinds of blood thinners. Typically, you will be on a blood thinner for six months if this is your first DVT. If you have a second DVT, you most likely will need a blood thinner for the rest of your life.

Or if you have a history of blood clotting disorder in you or your family, you will most likely need blood thinners for the rest of your life. Another option, if you are not a candidate for blood thinners, if you have a high bleeding score or are not compliant with medication, is something called an IVC filter or inferior vena cava filter. What that is, is a procedure that is done to prevent the DVT from moving or embolizing to the lungs. It is a safe, non-invasive procedure where a filter is placed above the DVT so it is caught there and prevented from moving to the lungs. If the DVT is not detected, and it’s discovered you have a pulmonary embolism, meaning you have shortness of breath, palpitations, low blood pressure, it is important to go to the hospital immediately because this condition is more life-threatening. You may need to have surgery to remove the blood clot in addition to the blood thinners. You may need to be monitored and determine if other organs such as the heart are not affected from this. Please notify your doctor right away if you experience any of those symptoms.

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