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DVT Treatment Vacuums Away Blood Clots – Prevents Disabilit

olysis treatment uses a clot-dissolving drug only and, although highly effective, can take two to four days to work. This increases the patients’ risk of bleeding as well as increasing their stay in the ICU. Although the catheter-directed thrombolysis technique has been available for about a decade, many DVT patients don’t receive it. Instead, many patients are treated with blood thinners alone which can help prevent a life threatening pulmonary embolism, but do not help dissolve the clot. Long-term studies show that fifty percent of people with leg DVT treated with blood thinners alone develop the sequela of DVT, known as post-thrombotic syndrome. Post-thrombotic syndrome is caused by a combination of damage to the vein valves, as well as blocked blood flow in the vein from residual thrombus (clot). This condition is characterized by chronic leg pain and swelling which can lead to skin thickening and ulceration.

“Post-thrombotic syndrome is a common complication of DVT that is under-recognized and potentially preventable if we are able to dissolve the clots early, before permanent damage to the vein occurs,” says Garcia. “If we treat these patients within 14 days of their onset of symptoms, we are very successful in clearing the clot. Because the treatment is more rapid, safe and effective, patients are more likely to receive it and prevention of permanent damage is more likely to occur.”

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