Blood Clots and Adult Living Donor Surgery
Most surgeries have a risk of blood clots, and adult living donor surgery is no exception. While the chances of this happening are slim, if a blood clot does develop, patients may be given blood-thinning medications or spend extra time in the hospital. In very rare cases, surgery is required. To prevent blood clots with adult living donor surgery, tell your doctor if you have had problems with clots before.
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. These small clots help your body heal, and usually aren't a problem. When larger, unwanted clots form, however, they can be dangerous.
These unwanted clots can break away from the wall of a blood vessel and travel to various parts of your body. The clot can partially or completely block the blood flow to one or more of your organs, eventually leading to serious damage or even death.
One kind of blood clot, called a "deep vein thrombosis," can form in the veins. These clots can migrate from your leg or pelvis to your lung, where they may cause shortness of breath and other problems. When this happens, it's called a "pulmonary embolus." This may happen after many types of surgeries, but it rarely does. If this does happen, it's usually treated with blood-thinning medications and extra days in the hospital. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the clot.
Clots can also cause damage to the brain. If a clot travels and gets stuck in the blood vessels of the brain, it can cause a stroke.
Your doctor will make every effort to minimize your chances of developing serious blood clots during adult living donor surgery. To help reduce your risk, be sure to let your doctor know if you:
- Have had problems with blood clots before
- Currently use (or recently used) birth control pills or cigarettes.