Catheter-directed thrombolysis is used to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by rapidly break up blood clots, restoring blood flow within the vein, and working to preserve valve function. The catheter tip is placed into the clot and a “clot busting” drug is infused directly into the thrombus (clot). The newer the clot, the faster it dissolves. With the use of cutting edge technology, often times the entire clot can be dissolved within 2-3 hours.
It is important for DVT patients to be evaluated by an interventional radiologist to determine if catheter-directed thrombolysis is needed to remove their clot. This treatment is highly effective when performed within 10 days after symptoms begin.