Answers and questions about pulmonary embolism

My question is: when a patient is diagnosed with PE, which are the risks of having the disease and for how long should he/she stay under anticoagulation treatment? Thank you very much.

All patients with PE can have a new PE episode despite the treatment, or bleed because of the treatment. In general, the combination of both risks does not surpass 5% during the first six months. All depends on age, reasons and underlying diseases. Duration of treatment can also depend on these factors, but we usually keep it between three months and one year.

I’m 26 years old and two years ago I had a pulmonary embolism due to an appendicitis surgery. Even today I have discomfort, sometimes my lung (the one of the PE) hurts, like pins and my breathing becomes heavier. Is this normal after such an episode like this?

It is normal, yes. After a pulmonary embolism, some areas of the lung can be injured or swollen, which might cause sharp pain, especially with breathing movements. They can last months, or even years. If you have already gone to your doctor and he has ruled out a new embolism, don’t worry.

A month ago I had a pulmonary embolism and I’m now taking Sintrom. However, I’ve been experiencing a burning sensation in my leg and shortness of breath for a couple of days; they are the same symptoms I had a month ago, when I suffered the embolism. Could it be happening again?

Most likely, the cause of your current discomfort is just the apprehension that many patiens suffer from such an episode like this. 3 out of 100 patients with pulmonary embolism suffer from a new episode despite being correctly treated. Go to your doctor. If your doctor finds any objective sign that makes us think about a new embolism episode (low oxygen concentration in blood, leg swelling…) he will then set the tests in order to confirm it or rule it out.

A year ago I had a pulmonary embolism and seven months ago I stop taking anticoagulants. My question is, how much should I wait for getting pregnant and for this problem not to happen again?

If you don’t have sequelae (3% of the patients stay with shortness of breath after a pulmonary embolism), you can get pregnant now. Nonetheless, as soon as you know that you are pregnant, you should contact your doctor. He/she will decide if you should receive any phrophylaxis during your pregnancy. Pregnancy and delivery are a risk factor for developing a new venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. However, there are effective methods for prevention.