Blood Clot & Pulmonary Embolism
Stopping a blood clot from spreading to the lungs
Your arteries and veins carry blood throughout your body, like water in a pipe.
At times, the blood can congeal and collect, or a vessel can narrow, and a blood clot can form.
A blood clot (thrombosis) may require treatment, as it can break loose and flows into the lungs, where it is then called a pulmonary embolism.
Depending on the situation, blood clots may be treated with blood thinning medications, minimally invasive procedures performed by an interventional radiologist, or a combination of the two.
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Placement
Blood travels from your legs and body to your heart through a big vein called the inferior vena cava (IVC).
An IVC filter can be placed in this large vein to catch or prevent any blood clots flowing towards the heart and lungs.
An IVC filter resembles the wire framing of an umbrella, and simply acts as a precautionary barrier that can prevent a blood clot from traveling to the lungs and becoming a pulmonary embolism.
The interventional radiologist may choose to deliver clot dissolving medication directly to the clot.
A catheter is inserted into the patient’s vein in the upper leg. The physician steers the catheter to the clot using live x-ray images.
Once the catheter is in place, the thrombolytic medication can be delivered directly to the clot to help break it up and restore normal flow.