When Is a Thrombectomy Needed?

Published on: June 4, 2017

Blood clots can pose a risk to your health and can be deadly. When a blood clot forms, it blocks blood flow to tissue and organs which can cause damage to these areas. Large clots like those present in deep vein thrombosis are particularly dangerous. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove blood clots and protect the body from harm.

Blood clots like those in deep vein thrombosis can be caused by a few different conditions. Those who are bed ridden or not active are at higher risk of deep vein thrombosis. When the blood flow slows, there is a higher chance of clots forming. Abnormal clotting issues can also make clots more likely to form, as can injury to the veins. Smoking, being overweight and elderly persons are more likely to develop DVT. When these risks are present, it is important to look for signs of deep vein thrombosis, which include leg swelling, redness, leg pain and warm skin on the leg. If a blood clot breaks lose, it can cause a pulmonary embolism that can be deadly.

Thrombectomies can remove blood clots to protect the person from possible tissue or organ damage from a blood clot or pulmonary embolism. The procedure involves removing the clot from the blood vessel, usually through a small incision above the clot. To open the blood vessel, a catheter with a small balloon can be threaded into the vein to open the area where the clot needs to be removed. In some cases, a stent is added to improve blood flow in the vein to prevent future clotting.

Thrombectomy is not the only option for removing blood clots but may be recommended in some circumstances. The procedure is usually performed by a vascular surgeon that has the training and experience necessary for this delicate surgery.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Benvenisty, MD
1090 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025

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