ZocdocAnswersHow is a blood clot treated?

Question

How is a blood clot treated?

If you get a blood clot say in your leg how is that treated? I'm afraid maybe that is why my leg is so swollen.

Answer

A blood clot in the leg is called a deep vein thrombosis. These tend to occur in the deep veins of the leg, and the symptoms include swelling and pain in the affected leg. Risk factors for deep vein thrombosis included prolonged immobilization (for example a very long plane flight) as well as certain genetic factors, medications, and other chronic medical problems. If your leg is swollen, it is imperative that you get in to see your primary care doctor right away. If this is a blood clot, treatment needs to be started right away, because there is a risk that part of the blood clot could break off and lodge in the lungs, which is a serious problem. If your doctor suspects a blood clot, they will likely perform an ultrasound of the leg, and also perhaps some bloodwork, to confirm the diagnosis. If your doctor does find a blood clot, then you will need to start taking medications to thin the blood. These medications are usually taken for several months until the clot is totally dissolved. Usually, treatment is begun with injectable medications, and then these are slowly transitioned to pills. Go see your primary care doctor right away!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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