Blood Clots With Total Hip Replacement
A potential complication of hip replacement surgery is a blood clot forming within a blood vessel. A blood clot is a collection of material that forms a ball inside a blood vessel. Because your body has ways of dealing with clots, most are not serious and not even noticeable.
Your doctor will make every effort to minimize the chance that you develop a serious clot. Blood clots can become dangerous when they break off from the wall of a blood vessel and travel to various organs. The clot can then partially or completely block blood flow in one of these organs, causing the organ to have a decreased blood supply past the site of the blockage. This can eventually lead to significant damage to that organ.
Small clots are not usually a significant problem; however, larger clots can cause serious problems. One very serious blood clot is called a pulmonary embolus. This forms when a blood clot from the leg or pelvis breaks off and travels to the lungs. This causes abnormal blood flow through the lungs, making it more difficult for the lungs to provide oxygen to the rest of the body.
Loss of life from a pulmonary embolus is possible when caused by a larger clot. Blood clots with total hip replacement surgery are usually treated with blood-thinning medication and extra days in the hospital. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the clot.