Special Procedures - Thrombolysis

An Arterial thrombolysis procedure is usually performed to treat occlusion of an existing arterial bypass, although sometimes it is used to treat the occlusion of native arteries. Prior to arterial thrombolysis, an angiogram procedure is performed to locate the blockage. Using a catheter, still in place from the angiogram, a small tube is inserted into the clot and injected with a drug, which if effective, dissolves the clot in anywhere from 3 to 48 hours.

While the catheter is in place, the clot is frequently checked to see if it is dissolving. Patients are generally placed in a recovery room setting where a nurse can closely monitor them. If a narrowing or blockage is found, it may be repaired with arterial angioplasty/stent placement or surgery.