Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: blood | clot | blood | thinner | deep | vein | thrombosis

I Have a Blood Clot in My Leg

Monday, 07 May 2012 09:31 AM

Question: I have been diagnosed with a blood clot in my leg and have been on blood thinners for two weeks. How long does it normally take for a blood clot to dissolve?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT, also called venous thrombosis) is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body. The clot may partially or completely block blood flow through the vein. Most DVTs occur in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis, though they can occur in other parts of the body as well.
Blood thinners (anticoagulants) decrease your blood’s ability to clot. They are used to stop clots from getting bigger and to prevent a blood clot from moving, but they do not break up blood clots that have already formed. Your body’s natural system may help dissolve the clot. In some cases, however, the clot will not completely dissolve. Warfarin (Coumadin) is a pill while heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin, including enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox) Fragmin (dalteparin sodium), and fondaparinux sodium (Arixtra) are injections. Heparin (or low-molecular-weight heparin), fondaparinux and warfarin may be given at the same time. Heparin and fondaparinux will act quickly, while the warfarin will take 4 to 5 days before it starts to work. Once the warfarin is working, the other anticoagulants will be stopped, but usually only after a minimum of 4 to 5 days of combined therapy.
Treatment for DVT with anticoagulants usually lasts for 3 to 6 months. The most common side effect of anticoagulants is bleeding. You should call your doctor right away if you are taking warfarin, heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin, or fondaparinux and experience easy bruising or bleeding.

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Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body.
Monday, 07 May 2012 09:31 AM
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