Thrombolysis is used to eliminate blood clots that can restrict blood flow in arteries and veins. Clots can remain stationary or break loose and travel to various organs, causing heart attack, stroke or serious damage to other organs.
The Hospital of Central Connecticut offers thrombolytic therapy, which uses medications to dissolve clots, and mechanical thrombolysis, which uses various devices to break up clots.
You will be given a sedative or general anesthesia. The interventional radiologist will then insert a thin catheter into a blood vessel in the groin, arm or neck and thread it through the body. A dye or other contrast material will be injected through the catheter and an X-ray taken to help the doctor locate the clot(s).
For thrombolytic therapy, the catheter is connected to a machine that delivers medication in specific doses over several hours or days, and you will remain in the hospital during treatment.
- A potentially life-saving treatment, thrombolysis can prevent heart attack, stroke, gangrene of an extremity or other serious conditions if administered at early signs of blockage.
- Less invasive than traditional "open" surgery, which means less bleeding and post-operative pain and a shorter hospital stay.
- Less post-thrombotic syndrome for patients with deep vein thrombosis, a clot that usually forms in the leg. Post-thrombotic syndrome may include pain, swelling, skin discoloration and other symptoms.