Treatment for deep vein thrombosis is available having the main objective of preventing further clot development and dislodgment. This is important because a loosen blood clot may travel to other organs causing blockage. It can create a very serious complication like pulmonary embolism or blockage of the pulmonary artery of the lungs.
After DVT treatment, the typical advice is to avoid causative factors as much as possible and prevent the condition from happening again.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Treatment Methods
The method of treatment for DVT may vary from person to person. But here are ten available methods that can be provided to the patient.
1. Blood thinners
There are several anticoagulant medications that can be used for deep vein thrombosis treatment. These are commonly referred to as blood thinners.
These drugs are used to help reduce the ability of the blood to clot. However, the drugs don’t actually break the clots that have already formed, but only prevent them from getting bigger while reducing the risk in the formation of more clots.
When the DVT treatment plan includes the use of blood thinners, heparin is usually the initial agent introduced and given for a number of days.
After heparin injections, other injectable blood thinners may follow i.e. dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or fondaparinux (Arixtra). Rivaroxaban (Xarelto) or warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) blood thinners can also be given but in pill form. As the treatment proceeds, other medications may be used for further management.
Blood thinners is usually required to be taken for a period of three months or even longer. When using blood thinners, it is very important to follow the doctor’s instructions strongly, because when taken too much or too little, blood thinners can adversely result to very serious side effects.
If pregnant, there are certain blood thinners the woman shouldn’t be taking. To be on the safe side, make sure to have a consultation with your physician for a pregnancy check before starting on any blood thinners, in order to get the right prescription.
2. Use of Vena Cava Filters
In severe cases where blood thinners are not the best option, and a threat for pulmonary embolism exist, there is an option known as the vena cava filter medical device.
In this case, a filter is inserted inside the vena cava, which is a large vein, to prevent existing large blood clots from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs or the heart. It may be placed permanently.
Nevertheless, this method does not help in preventing the formation of new clots.
3. Compression stockings
Deep vein thrombosis may cause swollen legs. The use of compression stockings is a well-known deep vein thrombosis treatment approach very helpful in the prevention of swelling.
A person wearing compression stockings will have reduced chances of blood pooling and clotting. This happens because of the specialized pressure created when wearing them.
If possible, the stockings should be worn every single day for at least two to three years. You can get compression socks here.
4. Tissue Plasminogen Activators (TPA)
The healthcare provider may prescribe different medications if the ones previously used in the course of deep vein thrombosis treatment aren’t working or if the patient has a more serious deep vein thrombosis.
To break up blood clots, drugs known as tissue plasminogen activators (TPA) are administered. This is usually done through an IV line or use of a catheter which is placed directly into the clot.
Such drugs are only used in life threatening situations, because they can lead to serious bleeding. This is the main reason why they are usually given in an intensive care ward.
5. Use of Rivarixoban
The use of rivarixoban is a recommended possible treatment that can be used for adults with DVT. It has been a suggested treatment method by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Rivarixoban stops Factor Xa from working, thereby preventing further formation of blood clots. This treatment method usually lasts for three months.
For the first 21 days, rivarixoban is taken twice daily, after which, taken once a day until the treatment ends.
6. Venous thrombectomy
This is a DVT treatment method used when a patient has phlegmasia cerulea dolens, a severe type of deep vein thrombosis which does not usually respond well to other methods of treatment.
In such cases, one may need to have the deep vein clot to be cut out, but the method is done in very rare cases.
7. Thrombolytic therapy
Intact blood clots may possibly damage the vein in the long run. With regards to this method of DVT treatment, the healthcare provider uses an intravenous medicine in order to quickly dissolve the blood clots.
Thrombolytic therapy is a process used when dealing with serious deep vein thrombosis complications with the consideration that the patient has low risk of bleeding as a side effect of the therapy. Thrombolysis is more effective on recent thrombus formations.
8. Raising your leg
While wearing compression stockings, one may be advised to raise affected leg whenever taking a rest.
This aims to help relieve the pressure within the veins of the calf by stopping fluid and blood from pooling around the veins of the calf itself.
When raising the affected leg, make sure that the foot is at a higher level than the hips. This helps blood to accumulate and flow away from the calf. This can be done by placing a cushion underneath the affected leg when lying down.
Also, to ensure that the calf and foot are raised higher than the hips, slightly lift the foot part end of the bed.
9. Do Some Exercise
Exercise is another important DVT treatment method to implement in the plan of dealing with the condition.
When the use of compression stockings have been advised, the patients are usually recommended by the healthcare provider to walk around regularly.
Walking is an exercise that can help to prevent symptoms of deep vein thrombosis from recurring. It can also help prevent complications like post-thrombotic syndrome.
Walking can also help a person feel better quicker. Therefore, it will be helpful for the person to get up and walk around rather than just lying down all day. Along with the other DVT treatment approaches, it pays to do some exercises.
10. Deep Vein Thrombosis treatment instruction compliance
Another method considered to be very vital in DVT treatment is following instructions given by the healthcare provider. This will help speed up the treatment process specifically and holistically.
Whichever method the health care provider finds appropriate, it is best to follow given instructions to put the entire process into smoother course. Further problems may arise if treatment plan isn’t being implemented as appropriate.
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