Blood Clots Following a Pneumonectomy
Blood clots following a pneumonectomy, while uncommon, can cause serious problems if they cut off blood flow in an artery or vein. Arterial clots, deep vein thromboses, and pulmonary emboli are the most serious types of clots that can develop. If you do experience blood clots following a pneumonectomy, they will likely be treated with blood-thinning medication.
Every time you have a cut or bruise, your blood clots to help stop the bleeding so that you don't lose too much blood. But sometimes, clots can be harmful. When a blood clot forms and gets stuck in an artery or vein, it can block the flow of blood and cause serious problems.
One place that unwanted clots can form is in the legs. This is more likely to happen in patients who have blockages from fatty buildup in the arteries of their legs. When a clot blocks the blood flow in an artery, tissue in the leg may not get enough blood and oxygen, and can be damaged or even die. In rare cases, the leg may even need to be amputated.
Clots that form in the arteries are called arterial clots. Another kind of blood clot, called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can form in the veins. These clots can migrate from your leg to your lung, where they may cause shortness of breath and other problems. A clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolus. This may happen after many types of surgical procedures, but it rarely does. If it does happen, it's usually treated with blood-thinning medications.
To help reduce your risk for blood clots following a pneumonectomy, be sure to let your surgeon know if you have ever had blood clots in your legs before.