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"How long does it take for pulmonary embolism to dissolve when on treatment?"

ZocdocAnswersHow long does it take for pulmonary embolism to dissolve when on treatment?


I was on heparin for three days and on lovenox and Coumadin for four days.


Thank you for this interesting question. This is a complex topic, and I recommend you arrange an appointment with a hematologist to help answer this question. It is not possible to provide an accurate answer without knowing the full details of your medical history and examining your CT scan in person. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot forms elsewhere in the body, often in the leg, and breaks off to send a portion into your pulmonary arteries, or blood vessels traveling from your heart to your lung. This can impair your heart's ability to pump and can limit the amount of oxygen that can pass from your lungs into your blood. This can cause a rapid heart rate and shortness of breath. Treatment usually consists of a blood thinner, such as coumadin or lovenox. These medications help prevent enlargement of the clot or formation of a new clot while your body breaks down the old clot. Treatment is typically for 3-6 months, although blood thinners may be continued for life if you have a clotting disorder or cancer that increases your risk of another clot. After seven days, your clot is unlikely to have completely resolved. The total time this will take depends on the size of the clot. Also, the older the clot is, the more organized it becomes, making it more difficult to dissolve. I recommend you discuss these possibilities with a hematologist.

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