Interventional Radiology

Acute DVT


Standard anticoagulation with coumadin, heparin or low molecular weight heparin (i.e. lovenox) prevent more clot from forming, but does not remove the existing clot from the vein. This therapy relies on the body to "dissolve" the clot. Unfortunately, this often does not occur and the vein will remain blocked forever.

At Stanford we have a variety of new devices and methods that remove the clot from the vein. Some devices allow us to administer a "clot-busting" drug directly into the clot. Other devices break up the clot into tiny pieces that are then removed using a catheter. Often, these techniques uncover a particular narrowing of the vein that caused the blood clot to form, and we are able to treat this by implanting a stent to open the vein. The benefit treating this narrowing, is that it will likely decrease your risk of developing blood clots in the future. This is typically an outpatient procedure, or a single over-night stay.

Patients with the best outcomes are patients that have had symptoms that are less than 30 days. The clot seems to respond very favorably when it is "fresh". The optimal outcomes are seen in patients with symptoms less than 14 days.

Unfortunately, many physicians that are not interventional radiologists are unaware or unfamiliar with these new techniques. We recommend a consultation with our experienced Stanford faculty.

Patient Education Series: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Stanford Interventional Radiology: A Definitive Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

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