ClotCare: Blood Clots, Stroke, Heart Attack
Friday, October 24, 2014
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Will the blood clot in my leg go away now that I am on medication for it?

Henry I. Bussey, Pharm.D., FCCP, FAHA
October, 2005

Once you have started taking anticoagulant medications after having a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg), the blood clot may dissolve on its own, or it may remain in your leg indefinitely. If the body's clotting system is successfully turned off by the anticoagulant medications, then the clot usually shrinks down and becomes firmly attached to the blood vessel wall. With time, the lining of the blood vessel wall may grow over the clot. Once the clot has become attached to the wall of the blood vessel and the lining of the blood vessel has grown over it, there is a much lower risk of the clot moving and/or causing more clot formation. This process is thought to take about 5 to 10 days. It also is possible that the body's own mechanism for dissolving clots may slowly eliminate the clot. This process may take weeks or months.

Some clinicians recently have started to use ultrasound scanning to determine if a clot remains at different points in the treatment process. At least one study has suggested that if the clot disappears completely, then the patient is less likely to have another clot once treatment is stopped.

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Friday, October 24, 2014