What is Thrombectomy? An Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results
Thrombectomy is a medical procedure for removing a blood clot from a vein or artery. It is usually performed to reduce risk of stroke or to restore or improve blood flow in the affected area. Often, it is used to treat people who have experienced a stroke. The procedure can be done with minimally invasive surgical techniques, such as endovascular clot removal.
What is a Blood Clot?
A blood clot is a thickened, clotted mass of blood that has broken away from its original site in the circulatory system and has become lodged in a blood vessel. Blood clots can form in the veins or arteries for a variety of reasons, including dehydration, stasis, infection, and trauma. Clots can also be caused by atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty plaque builds up on the inner walls of arteries, narrowing them and limiting blood flow.
Overview of a Thrombectomy
A thrombectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove a blood clot from an artery or vein. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the skin near the clot, and the clot is extracted. Once the clot is removed, the artery or vein can be repaired and restored to normal blood flow.
Ideally, the thrombectomy should be performed as soon as possible after the clot is identified. This will reduce the risk of stroke or other long-term complications. It is a relatively quick, minimally invasive procedure that usually takes approximately one hour to complete.
Benefits of Thrombectomy
The primary benefit of thrombectomy is the immediate improvement in blood flow. This can prevent stroke or other serious medical conditions that can arise when blood flow is reduced or blocked. Additionally, the procedure is less invasive than traditional surgical methods for removing clots.
Thrombectomy also has a low risk of serious complications, such as infection or damage to other parts of the body. Most people recover fully after the procedure, with minimal scarring or other complications.
Expected Results of a Thrombectomy
The expected results of a successful thrombectomy are an improvement in blood flow in the affected area. This will help to reduce the risk of stroke or other long-term conditions caused by reduced blood flow or blockages.
Most people who have a thrombectomy are able to return to their usual activities within a few days. However, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare, including taking prescribed medication, exercising, and following a healthy diet.
Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove a blood clot from an artery or vein. The benefits of thrombectomy include improved blood flow and a low risk of serious complications. Most people who have a thrombectomy are able to return to their usual activities within a few days. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
Definition and Overview
Thrombectomy is a surgical procedure performed to treat or remove blood clots that block the veins and disrupt blood flow. It has a very high success rate.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
Thrombectomy is the medical term that refers to a blood clot removal surgical procedure. Clotting is a common process and is the body’s natural defense against excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is damaged or injured. In such cases, the platelets and proteins in the plasma form a clot over the injury so the bleeding can be controlled and eventually, stopped.
However, this process leads to health problems when blood clot forms inside the veins, keeping the blood from flowing through. Many factors can negatively affect the clotting process including but not limited to the way the clotting factors communicate with one another, the manner in which the platelets stick to the walls of the blood vessels, and the intake of certain medications such as those prescribed for patients with breast cancer or those who are obese, pregnant, and smoking.
The clots can also be dislodged from their original site, travel through the bloodstream, and become attached to other organs like the lungs resulting in pulmonary embolism and other life-threatening conditions like atrial fibrillation or DVT.
Excessive blood clotting is not immediately treated with surgery. Instead, doctors typically recommend anticoagulation therapy, which breaks down the clots and prevents their formation, as well as a wait-and-see approach or lifestyle modification.
Thrombectomy is only performed when the patient’s condition doesn’t respond or no longer reacts to these non-surgical methods. It may also be performed if the blood clot, such as in the case of DVT, is deemed serious or severe, as well as if the patient is not suitable for non-surgical therapies like anticoagulants.
The success rate for this procedure can be as high as 70 percent especially when combined with other treatment methods like long-term intake of anticoagulants.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Thrombectomy is usually performed in a hospital setting as an outpatient procedure. It typically takes about two hours to complete.
Before the actual blood clot removal, the vascular surgeon first administers anticoagulants by making an incision in the groin or around the knee to access the diseased vein and to locate the blood clot. A catheter sheath is then be inserted and a contrast dye injected to make the blood clot visible using an imaging technology.
Once the blood clot is located, the vascular surgeon performs either percutaneous mechanical or surgical thrombectomy. If it’s percutaneous mechanical, a guide wire is inserted through the sheath and threaded toward the blood clot. A catheter is then introduced and placed above the guide wire, and a liquid jet or a tool at the tip of the catheter is used to destroy the blood clot. If it’s surgical thrombectomy, the surgeon removes the blood clot by making an incision in the vein where the blood clot is found and then takes it out using a catheter.
As the legs may swell after the procedure, the patient may have to wear compression stockings until the size of the leg has returned to normal.
Possible Risks and Complications
Although the success rate of this blood clot removal procedure is high, it cannot guarantee against the recurrence of clotting. Also, the patient may experience difficulty in walking for a certain period until the swelling and bleeding subside. There’s also a risk of developing an infection at the incision site, and suffering from an injury due to the insertion of the catheter and guide wire.
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