How to Prepare for a Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis

Prior to your procedure, your blood may be tested to determine how well your liver and kidneys are functioning and whether your blood clots normally.

Tell your doctor all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to local anesthetic medications, general anesthesia or to contrast materials (also known as "dye" or "X-ray dye"). Your doctor may advise you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or a blood thinner for a specified period of time before your procedure.

Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

Women should always inform their doctor or X-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an X-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby.

You will receive specific instructions on how to prepare, including any changes that need to be made to your regular medication schedule. You may be asked to not eat or drink prior to your procedure. If so, you may not eat for eight hours before your exam; you may have clear liquids up until four hours before your procedure.

You will be admitted to the hospital on the morning of your procedure and be assessed by the interventional radiologist before the procedure begins.

Dialysis fistula or graft thrombolysis patients are generally discharged the same day; however, most other conditions require hospitalization for several days with careful monitoring.

You will be given a gown to wear during the procedure.