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How do doctors treat a blood clot in the leg?

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Quick Answer

A blood clot in the leg can be treated using blood thinners, clotbusters, filters and compression stockings, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Medications are intended to reduce the ability of the blood to clot. Blood clotting in the leg is usually an indication of a condition called deep vein thrombosis.

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Full Answer

Also referred to as anticoagulants, blood thinners are the common medications used in treatment of deep vein thrombosis. These medications work by inhibiting the ability of blood to clot. Even though they do not break the existing clots, they prevent the clots from growing bigger or reduce the chances of formation of additional clots.

If blood thinners fail to work or if the condition is severe, a doctor will prescribe other medications called clotbusters. An example of clotbusters are the thrombolytics, which are usually given through a catheter or an IV line to help in breaking the clots. The risk of this medications is bleeding, so they may only be used for serious conditions.

A filter called vena cava may be put into a large vein in the leg to prevent clots from lodging in the lungs. During treatment, a person may use compression stockings to help prevent swelling that is associated with deep vein thrombosis, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

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