A potentially life-threatening condition, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is the formation of a blood clot or thrombus deep within the leg vein. In the United States alone, 600,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and one out of every 100 people who develops it dies. Left untreated, DVT can break off and travel in the circulatory system, and become trapped in the lung, where it blocks the oxygen supply and causes heart failure. Known as a pulmonary embolism, this condition can be fatal.
CIRA interventional radiologists are experts at performing catheter-directed thrombolysis using imaging guidance. Performed in a hospital’s interventional radiology suite, this minimally invasive procedure is designed to rapidly break up the clot, restore blood flow within the vein and potentially preserve valve function to minimize the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome. During the procedure, one of CIRA’s highly skilled interventional radiologists inserts a catheter into the most appropriate leg vein and threads it into the clot. A clot-busting drug is infused directly to the thrombus; the newer the clot, the faster it is dissolved. Catheter-directed thrombolysis has a greater than 85% success rate.