Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis is an image-guided procedure in which a clot-busting drug is injected directly into a blood clot through a small tube inserted into a vein in the leg.
When blood does not flow smoothly through arteries and veins, it can begin to thicken and form a clot. A clot that lodges in a deep vein, typically in the leg, is known as DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis. If all or part of the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs or an extremity, a Pulmonary Embolism or other potentially life-threatening condition can occur.
The procedure quickly breaks up a clot, prevents damage to tissues and organs and improves blood flow.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Am I A Candidate for DVT Treatment?
If you have blood clots causing pain and swelling or a history of clots, are at risk for pulmonary embolism, or have a blood clot in your arm rather than your leg, your doctor may recommend this procedure.
How Does Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Work?
Using imaging guidance, an Interventional Radiologist will insert a catheter into a vein in the leg and threads the catheter through the vein to the location of the clot. The tip of the catheter is placed into the clot and a “clot busting” medication is injected directly into the clot. Typically within 24 – 48 hours, the clot will dissolve, though it may take up to a few days. If there is any damage to the artery or vein as a result of the clot or narrowing due to atherosclerosis, can be treated during the procedure with balloon angioplasty or with a stent.
After the Procedure
One of our Interventional Radiologists will interpret your results and advise you whether the procedure was a success. During a follow-up visit, your physician may discuss any additional treatment you may need or if you experience any side effects of the procedure.