How do blood clots dissolve

Hemostasis is a complex physiological process that the body undertakes to stop bleeding following an injury. One of the key mechanisms involved in hemostasis is the formation of a clot, which transforms blood from a free-flowing liquid into a gel-like substance that prevents further bleeding.

This process involves the coordinated action of platelets, a type of blood cell, and various proteins that work together to plug the injury site.

As the wound heals, the body initiates another process to break down the clot. However, in some cases, clots may form inappropriately within blood vessels, which can lead to serious medical complications. In these instances, medical intervention may be necessary to remove the clot.

The body’s natural mechanism for clearing clots involves the action of a protein called plasmin, which is embedded within the clot itself. To activate plasmin, the body releases an activator, which triggers the breakdown of the clot’s mesh-like structure.


In certain cases, doctors may prescribe medication to help clear blood clots. The choice of medication will depend on the type and severity of the clot. For instance, a healthcare provider may prescribe:

  • Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are commonly used to prevent clots from getting larger and to prevent the formation of new clots. Blood thinners work by inhibiting the action of key clotting proteins in the body. Different types of blood thinners work in different ways, such as by preventing the formation of fibrin, a protein that forms the mesh of the clot, or by slowing down the liver’s ability to produce clotting proteins.
  • Thrombolytic medications are another option for treating blood clots. These drugs work by activating plasmin, which breaks down the clot. Thrombolytics are typically reserved for serious conditions, such as pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot travels to an artery in the lungs.

The time it takes for a clot to dissolve can vary depending on the severity of the clot and the individual’s overall health.

Surface clots may take several weeks to resolve, while deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism may take several months.

In some cases, a clot may leave behind scars or other damage, leading to long-term complications such as post-thrombotic syndrome or pulmonary hypertension.

It is important to recognize the seriousness of blood clots and seek medical attention promptly if you suspect to have a clot. The long-term effects of blood clots can be severe, and timely intervention is essential to minimize the risk of complications.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.