If you need to undergo surgery, be sure to talk with your doctor about guarding against blood clots after the procedure. Several steps can help prevent postsurgical venous thromboembolism:
- Get out of bed. Nurses will encourage you to get up and walk around as soon as your doctor gives the OK. That’s because movement keeps blood from stagnating and forming clots. Aim to get up and about at least three times a day while you recover.
- Take your meds. If your doctor prescribes a blood-thinning medication to take after discharge from the hospital, don’t skip doses.
- Apply some pressure. Wear compression stockings if your doctor prescribes them; the gentle pressure can help keep blood moving. Sleeve-like sequential compression devices are also available for promoting circulation while you’re in bed or sitting.
This article first appeared in the February 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.