What are DVT and PE? Treatment


I will take warfarin for the rest of my life, and wear custom compression stockings. Most people don’t take clotting issues seriously. But they should.”

— Kelly

Are DVT and PE treatable?

If you’re diagnosed with DVT, treatment usually begins with anticoagulants, sometimes called blood thinners, to keep your blood from clotting and to reduce your risk of the clot becoming a PE.

Your health care provider may recommend elastic compression stockings to relieve pain and swelling, and will have you elevate the leg to improve circulation.

In severe cases, your health care provider may suggest a thrombolysis. This minimally-invasive procedure uses medicine to dissolve the clot, and sometimes requires a balloon angioplasty to keep the vein open.

Remember—early detection gives you the best chance to prevent DVT from becoming a serious threat to your health or your life. Better yet, you can take steps now to reduce your risk.

Much like DVT, PE is treatable using anticoagulants to thin the blood and dissolve the clot. Because PE is so life-threatening, health care providers will administer an immediate-acting intravenous blood thinner right away. Once the patient is stable, a slow-onset blood thinner will help prevent future clots.

In addition to blood thinners, critical cases may require more aggressive therapy, including “clot buster” drugs such as TPA, catheter-based surgery or surgical embolectomy.