How To Prevent DVT [5 Tips from A Vein Specialist]

how to prevent DVT according to experts

Did you know that about 350,000-900,000 patients in the United States are diagnosed with venous thromboembolism (blood clots) yearly? These clots are associated with a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) happens when a blood clot forms in the deep veins in your body. The condition usually occurs on the legs, thigh, or pelvis. It causes pain and swelling.

DVT is a disease that requires serious medical attention. If left untreated, it can develop into a more serious condition such as pulmonary embolism. 

Individuals with an unhealthy lifestyle, blood clot history, and other health conditions may be at risk.

But despite the risk factors and complications associated with deep vein thrombosis, it is still preventable. Dr. Matthew Dicker, vein specialist at VISP, will discuss here the ways to prevent DVT. Continue reading!

5 Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Consult your doctor if you notice these common signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis:

  1. Leg pain that starts in your calf and worsens when bending your foot
  2. Swelling and tenderness
  3. Warm skin in the affected leg and other areas
  4. Cramps
  5. Redness or discoloration of the affected skin (can also be bluish or whitish)

About one-third or one-half of DVT patients experience post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). It is a life-threatening medical condition that happens when the blood clot breaks free and travels through your circulatory system. It can block the blood flowing through your lungs and damage your vein valves. 

Seek immediate medical attention if you see these signs or symptoms of PTS:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

5 Tips to Prevent Blood Clot and DVT

deep vein thrombosis

Here are some tips to help you prevent blood clots and DVT, according to Dr. Dicker.

1. Practice a healthy lifestyle

Many diseases are preventable if you do the basics of living healthily. This includes:

  • Managing a healthy weight through a low-fat, high-fiber diet with vegetables and fruits.
  • Exercising regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Hydration is significant in reducing blood viscosity.
  • Quitting smoking. If you aren’t a smoker yet, avoid it. Cigarettes affect blood clotting and circulation, which in turn increases the risk of DVT.

2. Take your doctor’s post-surgery advice

Patients who undergo a surgical procedure are often at risk of experiencing blood clots. You may also get a DVT when you become less active after your surgery.

To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants or blood thinners. Wearing compression stockings or sleeves on your legs is also advisable to maintain good blood circulation.

For the post-recovery prevention tips, raise your bed footing instead of using pillows under your legs. Exercise whenever you can and take your prescribed medicines diligently.

3. Take care when traveling long distance

If you’re on a long-distance trip and you need to sit still for long hours, there are ways to improve circulation of blood and prevent clots and DVT:

  • Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up, move around, walk and stretch between connecting flights.
  • If you’re traveling by car, you can find a stopover to rest and walk around for a few minutes.
  • If you’re stuck in your seat on the train or airplane, you can move your leg muscles by stretching your legs, flexing your feet, and curling your toes down.
  • If you’re walking long distances, avoid wearing tight clothes. Compression stockings or socks might help you keep optimal blood flow circulation.

4. Ask for medical advice regarding your family’s health history

Does your family have any history of blood disorders and other diseases? Ask your doctor to provide medical advice regarding your history.

Certain risk factors of DVT are associated with your family’s health history:

  • Prior DVT or PE experience
  • Any DVT, PE, or blood clotting history among your family members

5. Be diligent with your medications and health checkups

pregnant woman at risk of dvt

Do you have any existing health conditions that may put you at risk for blood clotting and DVT? Make sure to follow your doctor’s advice to prevent deep vein thrombosis and other blood disorders.

You are at risk of DVT if you have these health conditions:

  • Prior DVT or PE experience
  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • You’re taking birth control pills or going through hormone replacement therapy
  • Vein injuries caused by fractures, muscle injuries, or surgical procedures in the abdomen and lower parts of the body
  • You’ve been confined to bed for long periods
  • Paralysis
  • Chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung complications, cancer, and inflammatory bowel illnesses

Does drinking water help prevent DVT?

Yes, dehydration is a common risk factor for DVT. Hydration reduces the viscosity of blood, making it thick and sluggish. Drink lots of fluids, but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as they can make your veins narrower and your blood thicker, which may lead to clotting.

Consult A Vein Specialist For Your Blood Clot and DVT Concerns

Are you experiencing any symptoms of blood clots, DVT, or pulmonary embolism? Do you have any existing conditions that may put you at risk for these health disorders?

Make sure to consult a vein specialist or go to the nearest hospital immediately to conduct the right procedures for your condition. Delaying it may only put you in more danger and lengthier recovery time 

If you need a medical consultation for deep vein thrombosis or other vascular problems, the clinic of the Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott is here to help you.

We have safe and top-level care treatment for various vascular problems with quick recovery time!

Visit our website to know more about our services, or call us at 928.771.8477 to book an appointment today.

Author Profile

Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott was formed in 2010 by a group of subspecialty radiologists that perform numerous minimally-invasive, low-risk procedures using the tools of our trade for guidance—x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. The team’s goal is to educate patients and medical communities, while also providing safe and compassionate health care, with rapid recovery times and low risk of complications.