Every time you have a cut or bruise, inside or outside your body, your blood clots to help stop the bleeding, so you don't lose too much blood.
But sometimes, blood clots can harm you, rather than help you. A blood clot can be dangerous if it breaks away and gets stuck in blood vessels in your body. When a blood clot gets stuck in an artery or vein, it can block the flow of blood.
After this surgery, one place that clots can form is in the leg. This is more likely in patients who have blockages from fatty build-up in the arteries of their legs. When a clot blocks blood flow in an artery, tissue in the leg may not get enough blood and oxygen, and may be damaged or even die. In rare cases, the leg may need to be amputated. Clots that form in the arteries are called arterial clots.
Another kind of blood clot in the legs can form in the veins. This is called deep venous thrombosis, and it can occur following many types of surgical procedures. In rare cases, these clots can migrate from your leg to your lung where they may cause shortness of breath. If this happens, it is usually treated with blood thinning medications.
You should let your surgeon know if you have ever had blood clots in your legs.