Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot, primarily in deep veins of the lower legs or thighs, occurring when the vein is completely or partially blocked slowing or stopping blood flow. Patients can expect signs and symptoms of: pain or tenderness in the leg, swelling of the leg, discoloration, or no symptoms at all.

Blood clots can happen to anyone, at any age, and sometimes go undetected until the clot has dislodged and made its way to the lungs potentially causing a pulmonary embolism, which is the blockage of an artery in the lung. The risk, however, increases with a family history of clotting, or long periods of immobility.

Trellis Peripheral Infusion System is a unique and innovative treatment used to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Before the Trellis procedure, previous techniques such as blood thinning medication were used along with compression stockings as to break up clots. Blood thinners, while effective in decreasing the blood clot and risk of a fatal pulmonary embolism, could lead to post thrombotic syndrome and don’t fully dissolve the clot.

The Trellis procedure, introduced in 2006, has proved to be safer and provided a quicker return to normal blood flow for the patient. Within 24 hours patients can go home and in a period of 1-2 days after the procedure they can return to normal activities.

Known as the clot buster, the Trellis procedure uses an oscillating catheter that is inserted into the problem vein. Two balloons are inflated isolating the clot within the vein. Clot dissolving medicine is infused through the catheter into the space between the balloons and takes 10 minutes of oscillation to dissolve the clot, at the end of the procedure the liquefied clot is aspired out of the catheter.

IHA Vascular & Endovascular Specialists like me, routinely preform this operation. We are all highly trained and board certified in our respective fields. These operations are routinely preformed and if you fit the right criteria the Trellis Procedure is a quick and easy procedure for DVT.

To decrease the risk of DVT, I recommend maintaining an active lifestyle. Also preforming leg exercises and stretching at least two times a day can help lower the risk. Along with exercising, choosing a healthy diet and getting regular check-ups for blood pressure can also help decrease the formation of blood clots.

It is also wise to get up and move around after long periods of immobility. For example, on long plane rides get up from your seat and walk the aisles. Similarly if you sit at a desk all day, get up and take breaks from your desk. The same is true for long car rides as well, pull over and take pit stops to stretch your legs.

If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms, or feel that you are at risk for DVT, call your primary care physician to set up an appointment.

What is PEVAR?

PEVAR (Percutaneous Endovascular Aneurysm Repair) is an FDA-approved, minimally invasive procedure for patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement in the wall of the aorta, which is the largest artery in the human body. The aorta supplies oxygen-rich blood from the heart, down through the chest and abdomen area before dividing into the vessels in the legs.

An aneurysm can happen to anyone, at any time, however, your risk increases with age, tobacco use and a family history of heart disease or aneurysms. In general, if you’re an older male, who smokes, has high blood pressure and a family history of hypertension, you’re at a higher risk.

Previously, the only surgical options to fix an abdominal aortic aneurysm were Open Surgical Repair (OPEN) and Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR). OPEN repair involves an incision in the abdomen directly over the aortic aneurysm, usually from below the breastbone to just below the navel. A long cylinder-like tube called a graft is used to repair the aneurysm. This operation is highly invasive, has a higher short-term and intermediate-term mortality rate, longer hospital stays, longer at-home recovery times, and is not suitable for high-risk patients.

EVAR entails making small incisions in the groin area, above the femoral arteries, uses special endovascular instruments to insert a stent-graft through the femoral artery and into the aneurysm. EVAR is minimally invasive, with lower mortality rates, shorter hospital stays, shorter at-home recovery time, and is safer for high-risk patients.

PEVAR expands upon the minimally invasive concept of EVAR, requiring only small nicks in the skin, meaning there is less blood loss and less pain. It reduces groin complications, hospital time and recovery time, meaning the patient can return to their normal activities much quicker than they could with OPEN or EVAR. It also requires less operating time, making it a more cost effective and less invasive surgical option for patients.

IHA Vascular & Endovascular Specialists are the only certified physicians who can perform the PEVAR procedure at St. Joseph Mercy – Ann Arbor. Personally, I have been performing the surgery for the past year, and it is a routine procedure for me and the other providers here. If you’re a good candidate, PEVAR is a great option that allows the patient very quick recovery time and minimal pain, while still gaining the benefits of a fixed aneurysm.

For more information about PEVAR, please call 734.712.8150.