Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery
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Questions every patient should ask their doctor
prior to signing a consent for vascular intervention.

Sponsored by the SCVS Ad Hoc Committee on Patient Advocacy.


  1. What is a DVT? How did I get it? Why is it a problem?

    A DVT or deep venous thrombosis is a clot in the deep veins of the leg. Some people can get a DVT from the blood being too thick, being immobilized, after operations or cancer. Depending on how large the clot is and how fresh is it, it may have a chance of breaking off and go to the lungs which can be fatal

  2. What types of treatment are there for my DVT?

    Blood thinners such as Coumadin and heparin are the main types of treatment. This will stop the formation of more blood clots. Usually, your doctor will put you on the blood thinners for 3-6 months. If you have bleeding with the blood thinners, cannot get blood thinners or have a blood clot travel to the lung while on blood thinners, your doctor may suggest placement of an inferior vena cava filter to make sure no clots go to the lung. The filter is like a screen than allows the blood to go through but blocks any clots from going to the lungs.

  3. How can I get rid of the DVT?

    With the heparin or Coumadin preventing the formation of new clots, your body will dissolve the clots in the veins. If you have a very large DVT, your physician may decide to remove the DVT with either a small catheter or may make an incision to take out the DVT.

  4. Will a balloon or stent help me?

    If your doctor finds a blockage in the vein that may have caused the DVT, he or she may decide to put in a balloon and stent to open up the blockage to help make sure the DVT does not happen again.

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