When a blood clot develops in an artery or vein, doctors at Dignity Health can effectively treat it through thrombolysis. During this process, your doctor gives special medications, called thrombolytics, to help break up or dissolve the blood clot. If you or a loved one would like to learn about blood clot treatment with thrombolysis in Arizona, Find a Doctor today at Dignity Health.
Why Thrombolysis May be Needed
Thrombolysis is a noninvasive treatment option for blood clots that develop in arteries or veins. Blood clots can block oxygen-rich blood from reaching vital parts of the body, such as the brain, heart, lungs, or limbs. These areas, along with the rest of your body, must have a fresh supply of oxygen to survive.
A blood clot can be life threatening, leading to stroke, interrupted breathing, a heart attack, or the loss of an arm or leg. Thrombolytic therapy can dissolve a clot and allow oxygen-rich blood to flow properly throughout the body. Emergency doctors at Dignity Health may use thrombolysis to treat urgent, life-threatening conditions caused by vascular blockages.
Your Thrombolytic Therapy at Dignity Health
Depending on the location and extent of your blood clot, your doctor may prescribe thrombolytic therapy in one of two ways:
- Systemic. Clot-dissolving medication circulates through your entire body.
- Catheter-based. The medication is applied directly to the clot through a catheter.
However your doctor chooses to give thrombolytic therapy, the medicine will work the same way. If you have had an ischemic stroke, your thrombolytic therapy will be given through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm or hand.
During a catheter-directed thrombolysis, a thin, flexible catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel in the arm, leg, or neck. The catheter will be fed toward the site of the blood clot, allowing the medicine to dissolve it. In some cases, the catheter may be left in for several hours to let the medicine continue working.
Recovering From Thrombolytic Therapy
The length of your recovery will depend on your specific medical condition. In most cases, you will be in the hospital for about one day. If you received treatment for ischemic stroke, your recovery time will be much different than that of someone who had a blood clot in their leg. Cardiology departments at Dignity Health offer thrombolysis in Arizona, as part of our heart services.