Venous Thrombectomy

Venous thrombectomy refers to a surgery performed to remove a large blood clot. It is most likely to be performed if you have deep vein thrombosis with severe symptoms that began within the past week. There are several situations in which this surgery may be a better choice than alternative treatments. Your doctor may recommend this surgery if you are pregnant or if your DVT is particularly large. It is also a worthwhile alternative for patients who are unable to be treated with blood thinners.

A venous thrombectomy generally takes between two and three hours. You will be injected with heparin, a blood-thinning medication, during the procedure. A small tube is inserted in the below the knee or in the groin through which a contrast dye is injected. This dye allows the surgeon to locate the clot in the vein. From this point, one of two methods may be used. Your doctor may insert a small wire through the tube, then place a catheter over the wire and use it to break up the clot. Alternatively, he may instead make a small incision over the clot and remove it.

You may experience swelling after the surgery. To help combat this, follow your doctor’s directions on wearing compression stockings and walking.

Imtiaz Ahmad, MD

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