Printer Friendly Version Email A Friend Add This Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size

Deep vein thrombosis - discharge


Alternate Names

DVT - discharge; Blood clot in the legs - discharge; Thromboembolism - discharge


Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms in a vein that is deep inside the body.

It mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow. If the clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, it can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.


Wear the pressure stockings prescribed by your doctor. They will improve blood flow in your legs and lower your risk for blood clots.

  • Avoid letting the stockings become very tight or wrinkled.
  • If you use lotion on your legs, let it dry before you put the stockings on.
  • Put powder on your legs to make it easier to put on the stockings.
  • Wash the stockings each day with mild soap and water, rinse, and air dry.
  • Be sure you have a second pair of stockings to wear while the other pair is being washed.
  • If your stockings feel too tight, tell your doctor or nurse. Do not just stop wearing them.

Your doctor may give you medicine to thin your blood. This will help keep more clots from forming.

  • Take the medicine just the way your doctor prescribed it.
  • Know what to do if you miss a dose.
  • You will need to get blood tests often to make sure you are taking the right dose.

Ask your doctor what exercises and other activities are safe for you to do.

Do not sit or lie down in the same position for long periods of time.

  • Do not cross your legs when you sit.
  • Do not sit so that you put steady pressure on the back of your knee.
  • Prop up your legs on a stool or chair if your legs swell when you sit.

Keep your legs resting 6 inches above your heart. When sleeping, make the foot of the bed 4 to 6 inches higher than the head of the bed.

Do not wear tight clothing on your legs or around your waist. If your clothes leave a mark in your skin, they are too tight.

When traveling:

  • By car -- stop often, and get out and walk around for a few minutes.
  • On a plane, bus, or train -- get up and walk around often.
  • While sitting in a car, bus, plane, or train -- wiggle your toes, tighten and relax your calf muscles, and shift your position often.
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed.

Do not smoke. If you do, ask your doctor for help quitting.

Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of liquid a day, if your doctor says it is okay.

Try to use less salt.

  • Do not add extra salt to your food.
  • Do not eat canned foods and other processed foods that have a lot of salt.
  • Read food labels to check the amount of salt (sodium) in foods. Ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you to eat each day.
When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • Your skin looks pale, blue, or feels cold to touch.
  • You have more swelling in your leg.
  • You have fever or chills.
  • You are short of breath (it is hard to breathe).
  • You have chest pain.
Related Taxonomy

Review Date: 10/26/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Home Page
Why Choose Us
Website Terms of Use

Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us

Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking

Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |