What Is Post-Thrombotic Syndrome?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Post-thrombotic syndrome is a medical disorder which may develop as a complication of deep vein thrombosis or other circulatory system abnormalities. Some of the most common symptoms associated with the disorder include a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg, swelling, and pain. Prescription medications are often used in an attempt to prevent this condition from developing. Once it does occur, some of the possible treatment options include elevation, exercise, and the use of compression stockings. Specific questions or concerns about post-thrombotic syndrome or the best treatment options for an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

In deep vein thrombosis, blood clots develop in the deep veins of the circulatory system, usually including the veins of one or both legs. The majority of people who are diagnosed with this condition experience a complete recovery, although some may develop long-term complications such as post-thrombotic syndrome. Leg cramps, redness, and a feeling of heaviness are among the possible symptoms of this complication. Open sores, changes in skin pigment, and swelling may also occur. If any of these symptoms appear, a doctor should be consulted for further medical evaluation.


Those who suffer from post-thrombotic syndrome have experienced some type of damage to the walls of the veins, usually as a result of previous blood clots. The blood pressure in these veins is often higher than normal even if the general blood pressure levels are within the normal range. Specialized ultrasound techniques are normally used to diagnose a suspected case of post-thrombotic syndrome and can help to determine the amount of vein damage that has been incurred.

Patients who have a higher than average risk of developing post-thrombotic syndrome are often prescribed certain medications in order to reduce their chances of developing this type of complication. Anticoagulants are typically taken by mouth and help to thin the blood and reduce the risks of blood clot formation. Injectible medications that the patient can administer to himself are available, and medical staff will train the patient in the proper way to administer these drugs.

Treatment for post-thrombotic syndrome depends largely upon individual symptoms, and a trial and error approach is sometimes helpful. Over the counter pain relievers may be used if there is a significant amount of leg discomfort. Gentle stretching exercises may be recommended, and physical therapy may be suggested by the supervising physician in some situations. Compression stockings are often used to help prevent the formation of blood clots and may also ease some of the symptoms associated with this disorder.



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