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Thread: Blood Clots

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Blood Clots

    Is it true that some blood clots in the legs, will never disolve despite the use of Heparen and warfarin?

    l am told that there are some clots in legs that will not disolve even with the above treatment. Also that some of these undesolved clots are too dangerous to disperse.

    Can anyone advise me on this?

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  3. #2
    Healthcare Professional
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    I just spoke to one of our Phys and he said they would all be treated; a filter would be placed if contraindicated. He also said that the body would encapsulate some clots and they would not be dissolved.

    Hope this helps.


  4. #3
    I am going to go out on a limb and say that blood clots do dissolve themselves. This can take a very long time though. Coumadin and other blood thinners don't help dissolve the clots, but it helps prevent future clots. I wouldn't say it's a lifetime diagnosis like cancer, but if you've had a DVT, then you are at higher risk to have a second episode and will most likely be on Coumadin for many years. I work in a medical setting and through the years have picked up tid bits here and there. Perhaps Jan will tap in and give you a more precise answer. In the meantime, hope this information did help.
    �Think highly of yourself
    because the world takes you
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  5. #4
    Healthcare Professional
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Found this on the web.

    Medical Treatment

    If the patient has a deep vein thrombosis, they will be treated with a blood-thinning medication (anticoagulant).
    • These medications do not make the clot go away. They stabilize the clot and make it adhere to the vessel wall.
    • The body normally breaks up (lyses) the clot on its own. This is a gradual process that may take several days or weeks.
    • Anticoagulants prevent further clotting and worsening of the condition.
    • They do this by preventing factors in blood from coming together and clotting too easily.

  6. #5
    Healthcare Professional
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Everyone that has responded to this thread has been correct in stating that heparin and coumadin will not dissolve existing clots, but that these two medications will help to prevent new clots from forming. Peripheral vascular disease is usually caused by inflammation and tissue damage or fatty buildup similar to coronary artery disease. Existing clots usually aren't noticed until they partially or totally occlude peripheral vessels. This results in pain, claudication, cold, tingling or hypoxic extremities or possibly a pulmonary embolus. The morphology and significance of the clot depends on the severity of vessel occlusion, location and whether it is in the arterial or venous system. If a clot is fairly new, a catheter can be inserted into the vessel and a stent can be placed or lysis drug like one of the kinases. This can be administered to slowly break down the clot. Sometimes the clot can be grabbed by a catheter with a suction system and removed or reduced. There is always the chance that the clot will break up and move. This would not be good. If the clot is more stable and usually older it can be bypassed with surgery as in a Fem-Fem, Aorto-bi-fem or other sequence of anastomosis. Most small clots will reduce in size over time if they mature, but will not go away completely due to it's origin in the vascular wall. The problem is that small clots usually grow into larger clots fairly quickly. Large clots don't go away. They restrict blood flow, which leads to clot expansion and more clots. Filters can be used in large vessels along with the anticoagulants with moderate success. If the clots are large and or numerous, they can occlude the filter. The best treatment is an invasive one if it is acute and either life or limb threatening or a medical management tract if chronic. I hope this information helps the original thread author.
    Mark Lucas, MPS, CCP
    International Board of Blood Management
    Blood Management Consultant

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