Prevent Blood Clots After Surgery

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn

Have you ever wondered why blood clots need to be prevented after surgery? Well, the main reason is to avoid fatality and disability. Your blood vessels should not have any other component, except for smooth running blood that circulates throughout the body. If your blood vessels have no clots, oxygenation is given to every cell or tissue of your body. However, when you go under the knife, your blood vessels are opened up and the clotting mechanism is activated to stop bleeding during surgery. That is how your body preserves itself. After surgery, there may be clots that could still be lodged in your blood vessels. If they are not eliminated soon or prevented to form, they will cause trouble for your entire body. Chaos will happen because of your body's oxygen deprivation. You should do your part and know how to prevent blood clots after surgery. With this, you could recover faster and return to your daily routines sooner.


Why Blood Clots Occur After Surgery

After surgery, patients are in pain and weak. They usually do not feel like moving because they think they have to rest extensively to recover fully from their ordeal. As a result, their legs do not have the normal function and circulation that they need. There are anesthetics that actually encourage heavier pooling of blood because they make the leg veins dilate. Patients who have undergone surgery may experience clots even if they have already been recovered for months.

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Blood clot formation is one of the many complications that patients experience after surgery. The blood clots usually form in the legs. Then, these clots make it to the lungs. This becomes a fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism. Some of the general symptoms are pain in the legs or calf, chest pain, and shortness of breath. These symptoms indicate that the blood clot has already moved into your lungs.

How to Prevent Post Op Blood Clots

It is vital to prevent blood clot formation in your legs. This is an essential component of care after surgery. You tend to rest a lot after surgery so the risk of having blood clots is high. Inactivity contributes a lot in the development of blood clots since your legs are below heart level. If you have been in recent surgery, you should perform the following to prevent postoperative blood clots:

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  1. 1
    Ankle pumping
    The ankle pump exercise should always be performed after surgery. This is done by simulating lifting and pushing your foot away from your car's accelerator.
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  2. 2
    Follow your therapist's instructions
    Usually, a personal program for therapy is provided for patients who have had surgery. There are guidelines given to the therapist and, in turn, they will give those guidelines to you as they go about your treatment.
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  3. 3
    Elevate your leg
    You should raise your leg above your heart's level. This will make the blood in your legs return to your heart. The positioning will prevent pooling of blood in your lower extremities. It will be more comfortable to elevate both your legs, even if you only had surgery in one leg.
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  4. 4
    Always make sure you take your medications
    Post surgical patients over 18 years of age are prescribed Aspirin tablets, 325 milligrams. If you are one of them, you should take the aspirin once every day Once you start healing and moving around, your risk for developing blood clots will be lowered. Normally, you will be told to stop taking aspirin after two weeks.
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  5. 5
    Do not sit for long hours or be immobile for six weeks post op
    If you have to travel for long hours, make sure that you get out of the vehicle or stand up every half hour to stretch your legs. While in the train, bus, plane, or car, perform the ankle pumps.
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  6. 6
    Toe point exercise
    Do this exercise while you're in bed. Try to make your toes point toward the ceiling and then make them point downward as far as you can.
    Grizzlybabymian clot2.jpg
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Going under the knife is a challenging experience that you have to follow up successfully. To continue overcoming the trial, you have to make sure that blood clots will not form in your leg veins.

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  • Always have your healthcare provider's number available, in case of emergency.
  • Never take powerful narcotic pain relievers before driving.
  • Use assistive mobility tools like walkers and canes to get you moving.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Mian Sheilette Ong

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