Percutaneous treatment for acute DVT is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a catheter to deliver medication to dissolve abnormal blood clots in blood vessels, helping to improve blood flow and prevent damage to tissues and organs. In some instances the catheter is used to direct a mechanical device to break up the clot.
Percutaneous Treatment of DVT
A blood clot that forms within a blood vessel can grow, blocking off the blood supply to certain parts of the body and causing damage to tissues and organs. In some cases, blood clots dislodge, travel downstream and lodge themselves in relatively smaller vessels causing a blockage, or embolization. Untreated, a vascular blockage due to thrombosis or embolization, can result in the loss of an organ or limb, or have potentially life-threatening consequences.
Percutaneous treatment rapidly breaks up a clot, restoring blood flow. If you have a larger clot, or are at high risk for pulmonary embolism, or you have DVT in an arm, your doctor may recommend a clot-busting drug called a thrombolytic agent.
How to Prepare
Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
You will need to fast prior to the procedure. Your doctor will notify you how long to fast, usually overnight.
Notify your doctor of all medications (prescription, over-the-counter or herbal supplements) you are taking; if you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant; if you are allergic to or sensitive to medications, local anesthesia, latex or if you are allergic to or sensitive to contrast dye or iodine.
Your doctor may request a blood test to determine how long it takes your blood to clot.
What to Expect
Using x-ray guidance and a contrast material that helps define the blood vessel, your surgeon will insert a catheter through the skin into an artery or vein and maneuver it to the site of the thrombosis, or blockage. The blood clot will then be dissolved either by delivering medication directly to the blood clot or positioning a mechanical device at the site to break up the clot.
If the vein appears narrowed, the radiologist may do a balloon angioplasty
or stent placement
to widen it and help prevent future blockages.
What are the risks?
With any catheter procedure, there are risks of:
Allergic reaction to the contract dye
Damage to the blood vessel, bruising or bleeding at the puncture site