Explore von Willebrand Disease
Treatment for von Willebrand disease (VWD) is based on the type of VWD you have and how severe it is. Most cases of VWD are mild, and you may need treatment only if you have surgery, tooth extraction, or an accident.
Medicines are used to:
One treatment for VWD is a man-made hormone called desmopressin. You usually take this hormone by injection or nasal spray. It makes your body release more von Willebrand factor and factor VIII into your bloodstream. Desmopressin works for most people who have type 1 VWD and for some people who have type 2 VWD.
Another type of treatment is von Willebrand factor replacement therapy. This involves an infusion of concentrated von Willebrand factor and factor VIII into a vein in your arm. This treatment may be used if you:
Antifibrinolytic (AN-te-fi-BRIN-o-LIT-ik) medicines also are used to treat VWD. These medicines help prevent the breakdown of blood clots. They're mostly used to stop bleeding after minor surgery, tooth extraction, or an injury. These medicines may be used alone or with desmopressin and replacement therapy.
Fibrin glue is medicine that's placed directly on a wound to stop bleeding.
Treatments for women who have VWD with heavy menstrual bleeding include:
For some women who are done having children or don't want children, endometrial ablation (EN-do-ME-tre-al ab-LA-shun) is done. This procedure destroys the lining of the uterus. It has been shown to reduce menstrual blood loss in women who have VWD.
If you need a hysterectomy (HIS-ter-EK-to-me; surgical removal of the uterus) for another reason, this procedure will stop menstrual bleeding and possibly improve your quality of life. However, hysterectomy has its own risk of bleeding complications.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans.
September 2, 2014
Gary H. Gibbons
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