Deep Vein Thrombosis, commonly referred to as "DVT", occurs when a blood clot, or thrombus, develops in the large veins located deep in the arm, leg or pelvis. People with DVTs typically have leg or arm swelling and pain. When untreated, people with DVT are at risk for having life long swelling, discomfort, discoloration and skin ulcers. Clots may travel through the veins and back to the heart and lungs. This is a potentially life threatening complication known as a pulmonary embolism or PE.
The causes of DVT can be a combination of underlying conditions:
- slow or sluggish blood flow through a deep vein;
- a tendency for a person? blood to clot quickly; and/or
- an irritation or inflammation of the inner lining of the vein.
To determine if you have a DVT, a Doppler ultrasound is performed Most DVTs can be treated with anti-clotting medications (blood thinners), will get better and are not usually life threatening, however very large clots do not usually get better on their own and leave patients at higher risk for life-long complications. These patients should be referred to an Interventional Radiologist for a procedure known as a Thrombectomy.
What should I expect?
You will be placed on your stomach and given sedation for your comfort. The interventional radiologist inserts a small tube into the vein through a small incision in the groin or behind the knee. Contrast dye is injected through the sheath allowing the radiologist to see the area of the vein being treated on an x ray screen. The physician then inserts a guide wire through the sheath, advances the wire past the clot, and passes a catheter over the wire to the blocked area. A device at the tip of the catheter, either a mechanical tool or a high-velocity liquid jet, breaks up the clot. The clot is subsequently removed and the patient is placed on blood thinners for a period of time determined by the physician.
Schedule This Procedure
Mount Carmel New Albany Surgical Hospital
Mount Carmel St. Ann's
Mount Carmel East
Mount Carmel West