If the condition is confirmed, the first thing to do is prevent more clots from forming, while giving the body a chance to melt the initial clot.
If there is a large limb or life-threatening clot, a strong dose of a thrombolytic drug might have to be given to try and dissolve it, but that would put the patient at risk of bleeding. A thrombolytic drug is used to dissolve blood clots in stroke or heart attack situations. In such instances, the blood clots are very small but situated in strategic positions where they can cause massive damage. Administering thrombolytic drugs, a procedure performed by an interventional radiologist or surgeon, is not commonly done.
Hence, the usefulness of using drugs to dissolve a large blood clot has to be weighed against the risks, especially in situations where the clot has to be dissolved quickly.
If a patient diagnosed with DVT is also at high risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, but cannot use anticoagulant drugs because he is at risk of bleeding, an inferior vena cava filter may be used to prevent the blood clot from travelling towards the lungs. The filters can be removed later and anticoagulant drugs should be started as soon as the risk of bleeding subsides.In extreme cases, surgery can be performed to remove clots, in particular life-threatening clots in the lungs.
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox...