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Clinical Haematology

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VTE follow-up clinic

Patients are referred to this consultant-led clinic for a review three to six months after an unprovoked venous thrombosis (blood clot in the veins), such as a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or a PE (pulmonary embolus).

For more information about blood clots download the app 'Let's Talk Clots'.

Not everyone who has had a venous blood clot needs a review in the Haematology Clinic.

If you have cancer, and you are under the care of an oncologist in Oxford, they will manage your anticoagulation whilst you are having treatment.

Your review appointment

We will ask you about the circumstances of your blood clot, and review your scans and other health problems and medications, including over-the-counter drugs.

We will check that the symptoms of your blood clot have improved and that your leg (in the case of a DVT) or breathing (in the case of a PE) has returned to normal for you.

We will give you a physical examination. Occasionally we ask patients to walk with an oxygen probe on their finger to see if their oxygen levels go down with exertion. Women may have a breast examination and men a prostate examination.

We do not routinely re-scan patients. After a DVT or PE, 50 percent of patients have scar tissue which can be seen on a scan, but this does not mean that anticoagulation has not worked, and does not change the choice and duration of your anticoagulation medication.

We occasionally check blood tests if we think they will change the management of your blood clot.

Genetic testing for thrombophilia genes (changes in your DNA which make you more likely to clot) are not routinely carried out, as results do not usually change the management of a blood clot.

Occasionally, if patients are not significantly better when we see them three months after their blood clot, we give them longer to recover and see them again a few months later.

If there is still no improvement, we arrange more investigations. If we think a patient might have a condition called Chronic Thrombo-embolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH) we may refer them to Cardiology if they have had a PE.

If a patient has moderate to severe Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS), we will refer them to our Vascular colleagues.

We will talk to you about the chance of future blood clots and the risk of bleeding on anticoagulants, and offer you advice on lifestyle, as well as type, duration and dose of therapy.

We will also advise you on how to reduce your, and your family's, risk of more clots in the future.

If you agree to stay on anticoagulation medicine, we will ask your GP to continue to prescribe your medication, and review your full blood count (to make sure you are not anaemic), liver function and kidney function at regular intervals.

Last reviewed:30 April 2024