To treat the clot in the leg, doctors may prescribe blood-thinning medications, compression stockings, clotbusters or fliters, according to the Mayo Clinic. Filters are inserted into the vena cava, the largest vein in the body, to keep the blood clot from reaching the lungs.
Blood thinners work by preventing the blood from clotting, claims the Mayo Clinic. They are also called anticoagulants. Though they don't attack the clot directly, they prevent it from growing and reduce the risk of other clots. The patient is usually given a course of heparin before starting on a treatment of anticoagulants. Anticoagulants can be injected or can be taken orally. Patients are generally on these medications for a few months, and it is important that they keep regular appointments with their doctors for check-ups.
If these medications don't appear to be working, the doctor might prescribe medications that do treat the clot itself, claims the Mayo Clinic. These drugs are given intravenously, and some of them are sent directly into the clot. Since the complications of this treatment can be serious, the patient needs to be treated in a hospital under close supervision.
Compression stockings keeps pressure on the legs. This reduces swelling and keeps the blood from forming clots and from pooling. A patient may need to wear compression stockings for some years, says the Mayo Clinic.