Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - blood clots in the leg - is a serious condition. People with DVT are given blood thinners to prevent a fatal pulmonary embolism. But many patients don't receive the follow-up care necessary to dissolve the clot.
This can result in permanent damage to the leg's veins, a condition called post-thrombotic syndrome that can affect a person's ability to walk and stand. It can cause abnormal pooling of blood in the leg, chronic leg pain, leg fatigue, swelling and skin ulcers.
Post-thrombotic syndrome occurs in as many as 80 percent of all DVT patients. Using X-rays to guide them, interventional radiologists can dissolve blood clots using medications or by inserting tiny tools through a catheter directly to the clot.
This rapidly breaks up the clot and restores blood flow within the vein, reducing the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome.