DVT refers to Deep Vein Thrombosis. It is a condition where there is a formation of a blood clot in a vein, which is located deep inside the body. The clot is formed due to the malfunctioning of a valve in the vein that slows the speed of blood flow.
A DVT usually is formed in the lower legs. However, it can be formed in the thigh or pelvic region too.
Depending on the severity and risk associated with the DVT, the doctor recommends the course of action. The use of blood thinners is the most common treatment modality with which the doctor begins. These anticoagulants prevent the clot from breaking off or growing.
Venous thrombectomy is a procedure to get rid of a clot formed in the vein. It is a preferred procedure for a special case of DVT, known as phlegmasia cerulea dolens. This procedure is considered for patients showing severe symptoms for less than seven days.
It is a surgical procedure that needs a hospital stay. Just before the procedure, the patient is administered heparin (blood-thinning agent) intravenously.
To begin with, the doctor inserts a catheter sheath in the vein through a small incision. This can be in the vein in the groin or just under the knee.
A contrast dye is administered through a catheter sheath. The dye allows assessing the vein to be treated by X-ray, filming the vein injected with contrast dye.
For surgical thrombectomy, the incision made is larger. It is made over the vein diagnosed with the clot. The clot is removed with a catheter.
Percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy has the doctor insert a wire through the sheath in the femoral vein. The wire is passed across the clot. Once passed, a catheter is made to pass over the wire where the clot is formed.
At the tip of the catheter, there is a device, which could be a high-velocity liquid jet or a mechanical tool. This device disrupts the clot.
The procedure gets completed between two to three hours.
The patient is made to wear compression bandages to lessen the swelling. Up to six hours after the procedure, the patient is made to alternate a walk for 15 minutes and rest for 45 minutes.
Once the swelling subsides, the patient is made to wear compression stockings. Intravenous heparin may continue during the recovery period to avoid clot formation.
The doctor should be informed should any of these indicators crop up post-treatment:
Blood in stools or urine
Unusual bleeding from cuts or wounds
Stomach pain or swelling
Unexpected or heavy bleeding during menstruation
The treatment through effective poses a risk to patients:
Above the age of 65 years
With bleeding tendencies
With congestive heart failure, poor kidney function, or hypertension
With allergy in response to contrast dye
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