Some of the specialized IR procedures offered at MTV IR involve the treatment of deep venous thrombosis (DVT). DVT is one of the most dangerous medical conditions, because it represents blood clots (thrombi) that form in the deep veins of the legs. These clots block proper blood flow, and can cause leg pain and swelling, but the real danger occurs if the blood clots travel to the lungs, where they can cause a pulmonary embolism.
In the past, DVT was treated with “blood thinner” medications alone that make it more difficult for blood to clot. However, this did nothing to treat the clots that clots that are already present.]
Today, MTV IR physicians can help by performing a specialized IR procedure called a thrombectomy. With AngioJet™ DelanteDVT™ treatment, a thin catheter is introduced into the diseased vein, and then a pressurized saline solution mixed with a blood clot dissolving medication is injected to soften and break apart the thrombi, at which point they can be “vacuumed” from the veins and eliminated. In some cases, the thrombectomy can be supplemented by placement of a stent in the vein to hold it open and re-establish proper blood flow.
Elimination of the blood clots allows the patients’ legs to return to normal size and resolves their pain. At MTV IR, thrombectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning that you can usually go home the same day, although you may need to continue wearing compression stockings for some time to help your circulation return to normal.