Benefits vs Risks of a Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Benefits

  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis can greatly improve blood flow and reduce or eliminate the related symptoms and effects without the need for more invasive surgery.
  • Thrombolysis is a safe, highly effective way of re-establishing circulation blocked by a clot.
  • Thrombolysis is less invasive than conventional open surgery to remove clots and the hospital stay is relatively brief. Blood loss is less than with traditional surgical treatment and there is no obvious surgical incision.
  • No surgical incision is needed—only a small nick in the skin that does not have to be stitched closed.

Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis Risks

  • Any procedure where the skin is penetrated carries a risk of infection. The chance of infection requiring antibiotic treatment appears to be less than one in 1,000.
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected.
  • Any procedure that involves placement of a catheter inside a blood vessel carries certain risks. These risks include damage to the blood vessel, bruising or bleeding at the puncture site, and infection.
  • There is a risk of infection after thrombolysis, even if an antibiotic has been given.
  • Whenever anticoagulant or thrombolytic agents are used, there is a risk that bleeding will occur elsewhere in the body. The most serious complication is intracranial bleeding.
  • In some cases the material that is blocking your vessel may move to another part of the vascular system. Usually this can be treated with further thrombolysis but sometimes may require surgery.
  • There is a risk of kidney damage in patients with diabetes or other pre-existing kidney disease.