How Is Blood Clot In A Vein On The Leg Treated? Can Blood Clot on the Leg Be Life Threatening?
A blood clot anywhere can be life threatening, because there's always a chance that it can break loose and lodge in the brain or the heart. In some cases, de-clotting drugs may be used to non-invasively dissolve the clot. Most of the doctors I personally know prefer to surgically remove the clot, though -- depending on where it is, it's usually minimally invasive to remove it and then there's much less danger of small pieces getting loose. I've heard of various methods either under study or less commonly used that involves using ultrasonic waves to break up the clots, but I've never seen it used so I'm really not familiar with any of that.
Your blood contains enzymes that clean up debris in the blood and will dissolve clots naturally, eventually. The real danger of a blood clot is that it will break away from the walls of the vein and travel to the heart or lung where it will block a vein or capillary causing a heart attack or pulmonary embolism before it is dissolved.
If a doctor is worried about your clot, he or she is likely to give you a prescription for a blood thinner like coumadin. This is a very dangerous drug that makes your blood clot much more slowly, increasing the risk of internal bleeding from an injury or severe blood loss from a laceration, as well as bruising. It isn't something you want to take on a long term basis, and the blood level has to be monitored frequently to make sure you are not being turned into a medicinal hemopheliac. An alternative is to give you something via IV to specifically dissolve the clot if it is very large and painful.
Another treatment is to insert a filter in the vena cava vein. They install this filter via a catheter into the vena cava vein just above where both leg veins come together in the abdomen. This prevents a clot from travelling further and it will just stay there until the enzymes can dissolve it. It's a painless and not very invasive surgical procedure and is used when the doctor does not want to put the patient on coumadin.
Let's start with the easy part. A clot in the leg can be life threatening. The clot can break off and lodge in the lungs. This is a pulmonary embolism. I had one. They are common and 30% of people who have one die. I was put on bed rest the second they knew I had clots just in case I had some in my legs that would further clog my lungs.
The typical treatment for a leg clot - also known as a DVT or deep vein thrombosis is to use graduated support stockings and take an anticoagulant such as lovenox, heparin, or warfarin. This will prevent new clots and allow the body to do what it can to dissolve the current clot. If warfarin is used, heparin will be given for the 1st week of warfarin treatment to prevent side effects.
New research is showing that using a clot buster type medication locally administered to the venous clots prevents long term leg problems and damage to the vein. While study outcomes have been great, not many places are using this treatment.
Some people with frequent clots will have a filter placed in the leg to catch any clots that may travel to the lungs.
If you have repeated clots, it is recommended that you find a hematologist for additional blood testing. You will want to discover if you have a blood clotting disorder (thrombophilia). This may require specific monitoring and treatment to prevent additional clots.
I have written a number of hubs surrounding clots and am a clot survivor. Feel free to send me a note if you have additional questions. Also, check out http://hubpages.com/hub/BloodClotQnA as it will have more information for you.
by Susan Zutautas 5 years ago
Can a blood clot go away on it's own without taking medication?
by Bema Self 6 years ago
Is it possible to have had a blood clot that would not be detectable by a vascular ultrasound?The other day, I had an excruciating pain in my left calf. It felt like a 3" balloon was inflating then deflating inside my leg and it pulsed. I cant even describe how painful it was. It cont'd to...
by days leaper 7 years ago
Would you say ending treatment, for a chronic life threatening illness, that will end the life,...is suicide or letting nature take its course?We all die someday.
by Cat 5 years ago
Have you ever had a life-threatening or near-death experience?
by ngureco 4 years ago
What are Varicose Veins? What is the Treatment for Varicose Veins?Are Varicose Veins Permanent?
by Steven Escareno 7 years ago
what would you do if you were hiking along a mountain where nobody knew where you were. you fell between two cracks and you end up stuck because a giant rock fell on your arm. with food and water quickly running out, what would you do? you have a camcorder, bottle of water, some...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|