Innovative New Treatment for Blood Clots at OPMC
April 14, 2011
Trellis procedure quickly dissolves clots and reduces potential for life-threatening pulmonary embolisms
Orange Park, FL – Orange Park Medical Center (OPMC) is now among the cutting edge institutions in the country offering an advanced treatment for patients suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT is a common but serious medical condition that occurs in approximately two million Americans each year. DVT occurs when a blood clot – called a thrombus – forms in large veins, usually in the legs, and partially or completely blocks blood flow.
DVT may result in serious complications, and even death, if not diagnosed and treated effectively. If a blood clot breaks away, it can travel through the blood stream and become lodged in the lungs, causing a life threatening condition known as a pulmonary embolism.
Interventional radiologists at OPMC use the new Trellis® Peripheral Infusion System to deliver a clot busting drug directly into the vein with the blood clot via a special catheter that mixes the drug while also spinning around inside the vein to break up the blood clot. “It’s a new device that allows us to break up the clot much quicker than we’ve been able to in the past,” says Craig Kobrin, M.D., an interventional radiologist who performs the Trellis procedure at OPMC.
What makes the Trellis device unique is its special catheter with two tiny balloons that are inflated once the catheter is inserted into the vein with the blood clot. One balloon is positioned in front of the blood clot, and the other is positioned behind the blood clot. These tiny balloons confine the clot busting drug to the part of the vein with the clot, where the drug works most effectively. The balloons also close the section of the vein while it’s being treated, to prevent any of the clot from breaking away and causing a pulmonary embolism. Once the clot is broken up it is suctioned out through the catheter.
The Trellis procedure can quickly relieve the symptoms of an acute DVT, which include pain, swelling or tenderness in the leg, discoloration or redness around the affected area, and skin that is warm to the touch. Kobrin says the procedure has another major advantage as well. “It alleviates post phlebitic syndrome, a condition where the leg stays swollen, develops dark discoloration and even skin ulcers, because the veins can no longer work to circulate blood,” he says. “This leads to the patients having to take more medications, more hospital admissions for them and other problems. So if we can clear the clot and get the vein wide open again, it decreases their chance of having these post phlebitic problems.”
Risk factors for developing DVT include: sitting or being immobile for long periods of time; recent, major pelvic or orthopedic surgery; taking birth control; and undergoing certain cancer treatments.
For more information about the Trellis procedure at OPMC, please call 276-8745.