Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot typically in the leg of the patient. Hospital staff are constantly on high alert for this as it can be a result of the lack of activity, that is common during hospital visits.
The main symptoms are leg pain and inflammation. However, some patients may not feel any symptoms and the longer the clot is there the more potential it has to damage vascular structures. Therefore, it’s important to keep circulation flowing by exercising and wearing compression socks. If deep vein thrombosis is found, there are a number of ways that it can be resolved.
Depending on the size of the clot, your physician may determine that physically removing it will be necessary. One way that they can do this is to utilize EKOS catheter thrombolysis. To clarify, the term catheter here is not used to aid with urinary matters, but simply refers to a hollow tube utilized in surgery. Additionally, thrombosis is another term for a blood clot.
The process is fairly quick and has good results when considering that it removes the clot, reduces the amount of medication needed, and aids in blood thinning. The entry site will vary depending on the location of your clot, but as the instruments used are small, the entry site will not be large. First, the catheter will be inserted and pushed through the entire length of the clot using a guiding wire. Then, the guiding wire will be removed, and an ultrasonic core will be inserted through the catheter.
This ultrasonic core will emit ultrasonic pulses which will help to break up the clot by aiding in the dispersion of the fibrinolytic drug, or drug that breaks up the fibers that are holding the clot together. The acoustics of the ultrasonic core also assist with the breakup of these fibers. From there, the tools will be removed.
In most cases, your physician will prescribe you a blood thinner to take on a regular basis. There are several anticoagulants that have been around for decades so their risks are better understood. Your physician will consider the drug’s effects as well as your personal history. This includes things like your family history, other medications, and co-morbid conditions.
It is important to note that these will not be selected as a way to get rid of existing blood clots. Instead, these medications will be prescribed to prevent further clots. This is especially true if it has been determined that you have a clotting factor, or other genetic vulnerability, which lead to the first one.
Another option that your healthcare provider may consider is a filter. If a filter is chosen, it will be placed in one of the veins leading to your lungs. Its function will be to break up any potential clots before they get to your lungs. This is usually selected if other conditions prevent you from being able to take blood thinners. However, it may also be chosen based on the location of any prior clots.