Life after deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) can be stressful. Recovery can take upwards of several months and you’ll need to make sure you adhere to your doctor’s medication and treatment schedule.

After the initial recovery you’ll also need to take precautions to prevent future blood clots. This is especially important because a history of DVT may increase your risk of another blood clot, per Cleveland Clinic.

Individual risk will depend on the cause of the blood clot, says Scott Cameron, MD, a specialist in blood vessel disorders and platelet dysfunction at Cleveland Clinic.

For example, DVT patients who have a genetic mutation that puts them at higher risk of blood clots have a very high risk of recurrent DVT and will need to be on blood thinners for life, Dr. Cameron says. But for patients whose DVT is the result of a temporary risk factor, such as surgery or trauma, the risk of future blood clots is quite low.

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