Mechanical Thrombectomy for DVT
Mechanical thrombectomy is a revolutionary treatment that removes blood clots from deep veins. This process can help to preserve the delicate valves in these veins, decreasing the likelihood of developing debilitating postphlebitic syndrome or potentially fatal pulmonary embolism. However, patients who undergo mechanical thrombectomy for DVT at The California Institute for Deep Venous Thrombosis also often experience immediate relief of DVT symptoms like pain and swelling.
Details of the Procedure
Mechanical thrombectomy for DVT is often performed with the patient awake, but slightly sedated. However, it can also be done using general anesthesia. When performing mechanical thrombectomy for DVT, Dr. Malekmehr will make a small 2-mm incision in the leg and deep veins – including the popliteal vein, femoral vein and iliac veins. From there, a venogram – an X-ray test that takes pictures of blood flow through the veins in a certain area of the body – will usually be done to assess the anatomy and extent of the damage caused by DVT.
Once the extent and involvement of DVT is identified, a mechanical thrombectomy device, such as a Trellis or AngioJet, will be advanced into the vein while under fluoroscopic guidance. The Trellis machine will isolate the clot between two inflating balloons. Fibrinolytic medication like tPA will then be injected directly into the clot. A mechanical arm of the Trellis machine spins in a sinusoidal fashion within the clot, physically breaking down the clot into small pieces.
The fibrinolytic medicine will then dissolve small pieces of the clot even further into a liquefied gel, which is then aspirated by a syring and long catheter. Finally, angiographic studies of the vein are done to evaluate the patency of the vein. When necessary, angioplasty, using a balloon catheter or stents will be used to further break down the clot and maintain patency of the veins.
The result of the procedure is an immediate decrease in the swelling of the lower extremity and associated pain. When accomplished successfully, the process can substantially decrease the incidents of debilitating postphlebitic syndrome.
When performed by Dr. Malekmehr at The California Institute for Deep Venous Thrombosis, mechanical thrombectomy for DVT has proven to be very successful. The immediate effects include a decrease in the pain and swelling of the lower extremity in the majority of patients. In fact, approximately 90% of patients experience patency (unobstructed opening) of the veins when examined by a duplex exam in six months, while 88% preserve the delicate valves in these veins, preventing development of postphlebitic syndrome.
About Dr. Malekmehr
Dr. Farshad Malekmehr is the chief surgeon at The California Institute for Deep Venous Thrombosis, and a board-certified cardio vascular surgeon. He has garnered specialized skill in cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery, and has a special interest in treating patients with DVT and pulmonary embolism. Dr. Malekmehr brings an unparalleled dedication an meticulous skill to every patient he treats, while utilizing a variety of treatment methods ranging from mechanical thrombectomy to anticoagulation, inferior vena cava filter, and more.
If you're suffering from issues like swollen legs, pain, difficulty ambulating or heavy and tight feelings in the legs or thighs, mechanical thrombectomy procedure or other treatment for DVT could provide exceptional relief from these symptoms, and potentially devastating long-term consequences. Contact our offices today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Malekmehr and his remarkable team at The California Institute for Deep Venous Thrombosis today.