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You have been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You have a blood clot in a deep vein. Hospital and home treatment for DVT include medications to keep the clot from growing. Here are guidelines for home care and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of future blood clots.
Take your medications exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses. Your medications will thin your blood and help prevent new clots.
Keep your appointments for lab tests. It is important for your doctor to monitor your prothrombin time (PT). This is a simple blood test.
Avoid sitting, standing, or lying down for long periods without moving your legs and feet.
When traveling by car, make frequent stops to get out and move around.
On long airplane, train, or bus rides, get up and move around when possible.
If you can’t get up, wiggle your toes and tighten your calves to keep your blood moving.
Ask your doctor about daily aspirin therapy.
If you have to stay in bed, do leg exercises.
Wear support stockings as directed by your doctor.
Elevate your legs whenever they feel swollen or heavy.
Elevate the foot of your mattress 5 to 6 inches using a foam wedge.
Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking or gardening.
Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.
Cut back on salt.
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food at the table.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:
Swelling or pain in your leg (often in just one leg)
Sudden, continuous pain deep in a muscle
Pain that worsens when you are active or when you stand still for a long time
Sudden shortness of breath
Cough with blood or bloody sputum
Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding
Blood in your urine, stool, or vomit
Black or tarry stools