Dr. Kahn is one of the leading experts in Western Massachusetts to perform endovascular thrombectomy. The goal is to rapidly break up clot, restore blood flow within the vein, and increase the chances of preserving valve function to minimize the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome.
Using image guidance, Dr. Kahn commonly inserts a catheter into the popliteal (located behind the knee) or other leg vein. The catheter threads into the clotted vein, its tip is placed directly into the clot, and then a “clot busting” drug (see below for more about clot busters) is infused directly to the thrombus (clot). The clot dissolves typically within one to two days.
Dr. Kahn will identify further narrowing in the vein by venography (which is an imaging study of the veins) and treat this with clot maceration, a balloon angioplasty, or stent placement.
When there are more serious types of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, or if other medications are not sufficiently working, you may be prescribed medication designed to breakup clots rapidly, called clot busters or thrombolytics. These are commonly given through an IV line to breakup blood clots or through a catheter placed directly into the clot. Dr. Kahn will inject the medication then he will implant a mechanical vacuum either called an AngioJet® catheter to suck out or CleanerXT® to break up any residual clots.
When medications cannot be administered to thin your blood, filters are often used as an alternative treatment method. Filters are inserted into a large vein (called the vena cava) in your abdomen. This filter is a small device that functions like a “food colander” to capture blood clots but allow normal liquid blood to pass, thereby preventing clots from lodging into your lungs. This procedure has proven to be extremely effective. The injection of clot busters and filters are typically placed during the same procedure, if both are warranted.