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This procedure is performed in patients presenting with sudden blockage of blood vessels (arteries or deep veins) due to clot. The procedure is performed under aseptic conditions in the angiography suite by an interventional radiologist (doctor). During the procedure, local anaesthesia (pain killer) is injected into the skin at the access site to prevent discomfort. An injection of a mild sedative can also be given to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.
A catheter (fine tube) is introduced under X-ray guidance into the clotted segment of the blood vessel and a special clot-buster medicine (thrombolytic) is slowly injected over time to dissolve the clot. This is called catheter directed thrombolysis.
Alternatively, a special rotating device is placed inside clotted blood vessel to break the clot and remove it out using suction/ aspiration. This is called mechanical thrombectomy. Sometimes a combination of both thrombolysis and thrombectomy is performed, for faster treatment.
Usually there is an underlying critical narrowing of the blood vessel, which triggered the clotting off the blood vessel, in the first place. Once the clot is dissolved/ removed, angioplasty or stenting of the critical narrowing is performed. This is to prevent the recurrence of thrombosis in the artery or the deep veins.