Treating DVT with Interventional Radiology
The procedures Advantage IR doctors use to treat DVT are part of a medical specialty called Interventional Radiology (IR). This refers to the use of radiological image guidance to precisely target and treat a range of medical conditions.
When treating severe DVT, a non-surgical thrombectomy (also called a percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy) is performed. A doctor inserts a catheter (thin tube) through a small needle puncture in the leg and positions it at the site of the clot using X-ray guidance. Next, a device is inserted to break up and extract the clot.
The procedure is often performed in conjunction with catheter-directed thrombolysis (also called thrombolytic therapy or pharmacologic thrombolysis), where a catheter is used to guide special medication (nicknamed "clot busters") to the site of a blood clot to dissolve the blockage.