Know The Different Treatment Options For Blood Clots

By Katy Gilligan
Updated October 24, 2016
Read our Disclaimer

Know The Different Treatment Options For Blood ClotsHaving a blood clot could be the result of side-effects of medication, family history, medical problems, pregnancy and even obesity. No matter what the cause of the blood clot is, it is important to get treatment for it as soon as possible. An untreated blood clot can lead to serious health complications like heart attack and stroke. These health conditions can lead to more expensive and extensive treatment options, so it is best to treat the blood clot at its inception. There are many different treatment options for blood clots. Your health care provider will decide which one is best for you and your specific situation.

Treating Blood Clots:

When a doctor or health care professional decides to start treatment for a blood clot, there are a few goals in mind. Treating a blood clot will prevent the clot from growing. It will also keep the clot from breaking off and traveling to another area of your body. It will help you avoid long-lasting complications like pain and swelling, as well as prevent future blood clots. Taking your treatment seriously will only benefit you and your body in the future. Usually medication and taking care of your body will be the only treatments that are needed. If the problem persists and becomes worse, you may need to talk to your doctor about surgery.

Blood Clot Medication:

The first treatment that people often use is medication. One of the most common medications that are used in blood clot treatment are blood thinners. These drugs are also called anticoagulants. These drugs help keep a clot from growing and breaking off, as well as prevent new clots from forming. They do not dissolve an existing clot and do not thin your blood, despite the name of the medication. Some popular blood thinners include: Coumadin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Arixtra and Xarelto. When people are in the hospital for blood clots, they may be given heparin at first. This is injected into your body by needle into the vein or as a shot. You may need to continue taking these shots at home. Make sure that you talk to your doctor about any medications that you are on, as some of the medications that are prescribed for blood clot treatment can interfere with other drugs.

Medications usually work for most people who are getting treatment for blood clots. Sometimes, other treatments are needed. A doctor may prescribe a procedure called catheter-directed thrombolysis. They may suggest this if you: have a blood clot in your arm, are at risk for a blood clot in your lung (pulmonary embolism), or you have large clots that cause pain, swelling and problems with circulation. This procedure will break up a clot quickly and restore blood flow. It will also save the valves in that specific vein. A specialist will put a thin tube called a catheter into the vein and work the tip of it into the clot. They will then use the catheter to send the drug directly into the clot.

Surgery For Blood Clots:

In extreme cases, surgery is needed to treat blood clots. One of these surgeries is called a vena cava filter. A small metal device catches the blood clots and stops them from moving to parts of your body where they can become dangerous. The metal device will go into the vena lava, the main vein that takes blood from the lower body back to your heart.  The doctor will put the filter into a leg, neck or arm vein and move it into the vein in your belly.

In most cases, medications and lifestyle changes will be all the treatment that you need for blood clots. In extreme cases, procedures and surgeries may be necessary, so it is important to know your options. Knowing what treatments are available to you can help you and your doctor make the right decision about what treatment is right for you.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.