Swedish Covenant Hospital’s multidisciplinary heart and vascular team treats the full spectrum of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, including blood clots that might not respond to oral medication or catheter-directed thrombolysis (a method of dissolving clots by applying medication directly onto the clot). Utilizing the AngioVac, interventional cardiologists and radiologists are able to remove blood clots percutaneous (minimally invasively), bypassing the need for complicated surgical procedures.
The AngioVac is a relatively newer piece of technology used to treat DVT. The device is inserted into the inferior vena cava (IVC), superior vena cava (SVC) or right atrium of the heart through the jugular vein in the neck. Blood is vacuumed out of the body and through an external filter to remove blood clots, where it is then put through a bypass machine and returned through a second catheter placed in the femoral vein. AngioVac can be safely used to remove thrombi or emboli in a patient’s circulatory system that is not responding to conventional therapy or if it poses a risk to cause potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.
“DVT is very common in our community, and it unfortunately carries a significant risk of morbidity or mortality if left untreated,” said Steve Attanasio, D.O., a board-certified interventional cardiologist with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. “Oftentimes, DVT is treated with blood thinners, but there are instances in which more significant interventions are needed. The AngioVac allows us to remove a blood clot that could otherwise not be removed without open surgical intervention.”
When oral medication fails to prevent blood clots in patients with DVT, catheters may be used to inject the blood-clotting agent tPA directly onto the clot. In some cases, the blood clot still fails to disassemble, and surgical intervention is necessary. Utilizing the AngioVac, endovascular specialists can avoid the need for open surgery and treat the patient with this minimally invasive alternative.
“This treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach to heart and vascular care,” said Dr. Attanasio. “This procedure must be performed using an advanced team of medical professionals, including cardiovascular specialists, radiologists, anesthesiologist and perfusionists. Through close collaboration with one another, I can confidently say that Swedish Covenant Hospital has a team of heart and vascular experts capable of detecting and treating the full spectrum of DVT and pulmonary embolism.”
Steve Attanasio, D.O.
, is a board-certified cardiologist with Swedish Covenant Medical Group. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, echocardiography and internal medicine. His specialties include interventional cardiology and peripheral arterial disease.
Learn more about Swedish Covenant Hospital's cardiovascular services