What are the symptoms of a blood clot and is there anything I can do to prevent them? Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious complication of abdominal surgery. Of all the possible complications that can follow surgery, thrombosis (blood clotting that either partially or completely obstructs a blood vessel) is one of the most common and potentially the most dangerous.
Your doctor will take steps to prevent blood clots. You may receive an injection of heparin prior to your surgery and may also be given anti-embolism stockings to wear during and after your surgery. Some hospitals prefer that their patients use pneumatic compression boots on their legs.
There are steps you can take to help prevent the formation of clots:
Changing position in bed and walking promote circulation. Good blood flow discourages the formation of blood clots and enhances healing. The most important thing to prevent blood clots is early ambulation; however, if you are unable to get out of bed to walk, you can sit at the edge of your bed and dangle your feet, rotate your feet at the ankles, point your toes toward your face, and swing your legs from side to side. While lying in bed, wiggle your toes and move your legs frequently. Drink plenty of water so as not to become dehydrated.
Know the signs of a blood clot:
Symptoms can include:
Pain in the leg
Warm to touch
Shortness of breath
Severe pain in upper back
Not all symptoms need to be present, and any one of the above symptoms needs to be reported to your doctor. With appropriate preventive measures, the incidence of post-surgical complications from blood clots may be reduced.
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