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Blood Clot Symptoms and Prevention Tips

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

Woman having pain in her legWhat are the warning signs of a blood clot after a hysterectomy and what can I do to prevent one?

A hysterectomy can put you at risk for developing a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life-threatening complication of DVT and occurs when a piece of the clot breaks free and travels to the lung. Knowing the warnings signs of DVT and PE and ways you can prevent them could save your life.

You could be at greater risk for developing a blood clot after surgery if you have blood disorders, are obese, smoke, and/or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Your risk is also increased if you use oral contraceptives, are over the age of 60, or have a prior or family history of blood clots. There are other health factors which can also increase your risk, so its important to share you complete medical history with your surgeon before having surgery. If you have any of these additional risk factors, you should speak to your doctor before surgery about extra preventative measures you may be able to take.

A DVT develops more often in the leg, but it can occur in the arm and pelvic region, too. Symptoms usually occur in only one limb--rarely does a clot occur in both legs or both arms. Signs to watch for include:
  • Swelling.
  • Redness.
  • Pain or cramping.
  • Area of warmth.
If a PE develops, you may experience some of the following symptoms and you need to seek medical assistance immediately:
  • Chest pain.
  • Chest discomfort.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Coughing up blood.
To try to prevent a blood clot after your hysterectomy, you can take the following steps:
  • Walk as soon as possible and as often as possible–inactivity increases your risk.
  • Avoid sitting or lying in one position for an extended period.
  • Ask your doctor about leg exercises you can do.
  • Keep your feet elevated when possible.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid wearing tight socks for long periods of time.
  • Wear compression stockings if directed to by your doctor.
  • Take all medication as directed.
  • Don’t smoke.
A blood clot can be deadly, so do not hesitate to call 911 or go to the nearest ER if you feel you have developed one. It is better to be safe than sorry!

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-23-2015 - 12:58 PM


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