Recovery from Pulmonary Embolism
After having a pulmonary embolism, recovery usually takes about six months. Key components of a successful recovery include taking medications as prescribed, having regular checkups with your doctor, and, if instructed by your doctor, wearing compression stockings.
An Introduction to Recovery From Pulmonary Embolism
Once you have had a pulmonary embolism (with or without a deep vein thrombosis [DVT]), you have a greater chance of having another one. After pulmonary embolism treatment has begun and you are feeling better, your treatment will continue at home.
At home, you will continue taking blood-thinning medications as part of your pulmonary embolism recovery. It is important that you:
- Take medications as prescribed
- Do not take any other medication, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or food supplements without first checking with your doctor
- Continue to have regular blood tests as directed
- Check with your doctor before changing your diet or taking any supplements
- Wear your compression stockings as directed, if prescribed by your doctor.
Know the Side Effects
Medications used to treat pulmonary embolism may thin your blood too much. This can cause bleeding in the digestive system. You should get immediate treatment if you:
- Vomit bright-red blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Pass bright-red blood in your stool or have black, tarry stools
- Develop pain in your abdomen.
You must also get immediate treatment if you:
- Have excessive bleeding from a fall or injury and you cannot stop any bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes
- Have bleeding in the brain, which will cause a severe headache, sudden changes in your vision, sudden loss of movement of your legs or arms, or sudden memory loss or confusion.