Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the condition where a blood clot forms inside the veins. This usually happens in the legs. DVT can cause pain and swelling, and in some cases, the blood clot can come loose and attach itself to some of the vital organs, resulting in severe complications. Here are some of the most common treatment options for DVT that you should know about.
- Blood thinners
Blood thinners are one of the most common and first level treatment options for DVT. These medicines are also called anticoagulants, and they help the existing clot from growing or breaking off. These medications also help prevent new clots from forming in the veins.
- Thrombolytic agents
These medicines are prescribed if your clot is large in size or if the blood thinners suggested initially do not work. These drugs are also called clot-busting drugs. They are usually administered intravenously and help in breaking down larger clots.
- Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis
If your clot does not budge with the use of blood thinners and thrombolytic drugs, then the next treatment option for DVT would be a simple procedure done to bust the clot. A thin catheter is inserted into your vein and once the catheter reaches the site of the clot, it sends the medication directly to the clot. This is a an effective treatment option and is preferred if the clot is very big or if you are in extreme pain. An advantage with this method is the ability to widen the veins in case they have become narrow.
- Compression stockings
If you are always at a risk of developing DVT, one very common preventive treatment option for DVT is wearing compression stockings. These reduce your chances of developing clots. Stockings come in different lengths and sizes.
- Use of vena cava filters
These filters are small metal devices that help in preventing the blood clot from breaking loose and moving to other parts of the body. These filters catch the blood clot and let it stay in the same place while allowing the blood to flow through normally.
- Surgery for DVT
If none of these above treatment options for DVT work, then your doctor may ask you to consider surgery. Surgery involves making an incision in the affected veins and locating and removing the clot. Surgery is suggested if there is a high risk of the blood clot breaking loose or if it is very big to handle with other non-invasive treatment options. Most doctors do not advise surgery right away and try the above-mentioned treatments first.
You can read through all these treatment options for DVT and discuss with your doctor which one might work for you. Your age, health condition, and the size and location of the clot all play important roles in the selection of a treatment option.