A DVT is a blood clot that develops in a deep vein, usually in the leg causing swelling and pain. If the blood clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs causing the possibility of a pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal complication. 

To prevent a DVT, be sure to wear your compression socks which are typically worn for 10-14 days after surgery. Compression socks help to keep blood flowing toward the heart, so that it is less likely to pool in the legs and cause a clot to develop. In addition, some surgeons prescribe a blood thinner known as Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin).

Take medications as prescribed & follow all specific instructions from your doctor.-After surgery you have the highest chance of developing a DVT. The first couple of days are the most difficult. However, walking is one of the most important activities you can do. Try to increase your activity daily and perform foot exercises while in bed. This improves circulation so that blood flow doesn’t slow down enough to form a clot.

Symptoms of a DVT include pain in the leg, swelling, tenderness or warmth. Any concerns should be evaluated by a health care provider immediately. If you’re flying after surgery, please be sure to wear your compression socks on the plane.