How Can Deep Vein Thrombosis Be Prevented?
You can take steps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you're at risk for DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), you can help prevent the condition by:
- Seeing your doctor for regular checkups.
- Taking all medicines your doctor prescribes.
- Getting out of bed and moving around as soon as possible after surgery or illness. This lowers your chance of developing a blood clot.
- Exercising your lower leg muscles during long trips. This helps prevent a blood clot from forming.
If you've had DVT or PE before, you can help prevent future blood clots by following the above steps and:
- Taking all medicines your doctor prescribes to prevent or treat blood clots
- Following up with your doctor for tests and treatment
- Using compression stockings as your doctor directs to prevent swelling in your legs from DVT
- Contact your doctor at once if you have any signs or symptoms of DVT or PE.
Travel Tips – Your risk of developing DVT while traveling is small. The risk increases if the travel time is longer than 4 hours, or if you have other risk factors for DVT. During long trips, it may help to:
- Walk up and down the aisles of the bus, train, or airplane. If traveling by car, stop about every hour and walk around.
- Move your legs and flex and stretch your feet to encourage blood flow in your calves.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol.
If you're at increased risk for DVT, your doctor may recommend wearing compression stockings during travel or taking a blood-thinning medicine before traveling.