Thrombolytic Therapy

Declot Procedure

A declot procedure is a minimally invasive treatment used to clear a blood clot or blockage, often in an arteriovenous (AV) fistula or graft. These access points are commonly used for hemodialysis treatments but can become clogged with clots or debris, impeding the flow of blood and making it difficult for patients to receive the life-sustaining treatments they need. At Vascular & Interventional Partners in Scottsdale, Arizona, our doctors are experienced with treating these and other issues with declot procedures to restore healthy blood flow.

What Can a Declot Procedure Treat?

A declot procedure is usually performed to restore blood flow in a dialysis access site or a vein with a graft. However, a declot procedure may be used for a variety of other reasons related to blocked or partially blocked blood vessels.

What Can a Declot Procedure Treat?

Hemodialysis access

Patients who require hemodialysis, otherwise simply known as dialysis, often have a surgically created access site, such as an AV fistula or graft, which can become blocked or partially occluded over time. An AV fistulogram can detect abnormalities in blood flow within the fistula or graft, while a declot procedure can be used to clear the blockage and restore proper blood flow to the access site.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

This condition occurs when fatty deposits accumulate in the arteries, causing them to narrow and restrict blood flow. A declot procedure can be used to remove the blockage and restore normal blood flow to the affected area.

Pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot gets lodged in an artery in the lungs and blocks the flow of blood. This blockage can damage the lungs and other organs by making it more difficult to get oxygen to the rest of the body. In some cases, a declot procedure may be used to remove the clot and restore blood flow to the affected area.

Mesenteric ischemia

This is a condition in which blood flow to the intestines is reduced or blocked, causing severe abdominal pain and other symptoms. A declot procedure can be used to restore blood flow to the affected area and prevent further damage.

Declot Procedure Benefits

A declotting procedure offers several benefits over traditional surgical options for treating blood clots and blockages, such as:

  • Minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require a large incision
  • High success rate in breaking up blood clots
  • Short recovery time with little to no downtime
  • Low risk compared to surgical options
  • Improves patient outcomes while minimizing complications
  • Dissolves major blood clots quickly and effectively

Why Choose Vascular & Interventional Partners?

At Vascular & Interventional Partners, you’ll receive prompt and efficient declotting treatment from a team of highly skilled interventional radiologists. We understand the urgency of restoring blood flow and preventing further complications, so we offer flexible scheduling and emergency declotting services when necessary.

If you’re experiencing problems due to blood clots, don’t wait to seek treatment. To learn more about the declot procedure and how it can treat or prevent a serious medical condition, contact or call us today at 480-435-9100 to schedule an appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who should undergo a declot procedure?

You may be a good candidate for a declot procedure if you have been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis or are experiencing a problem with your AV fistula or graft. Other factors that make someone a good candidate for a declot procedure include limited success with other treatments, no major contraindications, and a preference for minimally invasive options.

How should I prepare for a declot procedure?

Declot procedures can be performed on an emergency basis or scheduled in advance, depending on your individual condition and reason for treatment. In cases of acute deep vein thrombosis, a declot procedure may be necessary immediately to prevent serious complications. In these emergency situations, you will not have much time to prepare.

However, in cases where a declot procedure is scheduled in advance, you will have time to prepare accordingly. This may include fasting before the procedure, stopping certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, and arranging for transportation to and from the hospital or outpatient center. You should also discuss any concerns or questions you have with your healthcare provider to ensure that you fully understand what to expect.

What is the treatment process like?

A declot procedure is typically performed in a hospital or outpatient setting and involves the use of local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. It involves the following steps:

  1. Accessing the clot: Our team will use ultrasound imaging to locate the blood clot and then insert a catheter into the vein near the blockage.
  2. Breaking up the clot: Once the catheter is in place, your interventional radiologist will use a specialized device to break up the clot and suction out the pieces.
  3. Placing a stent: In some cases, a stent may be placed in the vein to help keep it open and prevent future clots.
  4. Closing the incision: Once the procedure is complete, the incision will be closed with stitches or steri-strips.

Afterward, you’ll remain in the hospital so you can be monitored for potential complications. Once your vital signs are normal and stable, you should be able to return home.

Is there any recovery or downtime?

After a declot procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital for monitoring, but can typically return home the same or the next day. You may experience some mild pain and discomfort in the treated area and be instructed to avoid strenuous activity for a short time.

What is the difference between a declot procedure and thrombolytic therapy?

Declot procedures and thrombolytic therapy are both used to treat blood clots, but they differ in the way they work. A declot procedure involves physically removing the blood clot from the affected vein or artery with mechanical methods, such as using a catheter to break up the clot or a balloon to widen the narrowed vessel. This technique is most often performed to clear a blockage to an AV fistula or graft that can interfere with dialysis treatment.

On the other hand, thrombolytic therapy involves using certain medications to dissolve the clot. The medication is delivered directly into the blood clot through an IV line and works by activating the body's natural clot-dissolving process to eliminate the blockage.

While both procedures aim to treat blood clots, they may be used in different situations. A declot procedure is typically used for larger, more significant clots that may not be responsive to medication, while thrombolytic therapy may be used for smaller clots or in situations where a patient may not be a good candidate for a declot procedure due to other medical conditions.