"The key to prevention of DVT is to reverse any risk factors, for example:
- Lose weight if overweight or obese.
- Avoid periods of prolonged immobility. Get up and move around every 15 to 30 minutes during long plane flights. Do simple stretching exercises while seated. Make frequent stops and get out of the car when driving long distances.
- Keep the legs elevated while sitting down or in bed.
- Avoid high-dose estrogen pills, unless they are deemed necessary by the doctor.
In the case of recent surgery, preventive treatment may be prescribed to avoid formation of a clot.
- The patient may be instructed to get out of bed several times a day during the recovery period.
- Sequential compression devices (SCDs) may be placed on the legs. Their squeezing action has been shown to reduce the probability of clot formation. The patient may also be given elastic compression socks or stockings to wear.
- Low-molecular-weight heparin or low-dose warfarin may be prescribed to prevent clot formation.
What is the prognosis for a person with DVT (deep vein thrombosis)?
Most DVTs resolve on their own. If a pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs, the prognosis can be more severe.
- About 25% of people who have a PE will die suddenly, and that will be the only symptom.
- About 23% of people with PE will die within 3 months of diagnosis, just over 30% will die after 6 months, and there is a 37% mortality (death) rate at 1 year after being diagnosed."
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