Clot Removal System Improves Patient Outcomes

Friday, March 11, 2022



A man in his 70s was recently admitted into the emergency room with signs of a clot in his leg. The patient had a history of DVT, otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis, a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein deep within the body. DVTs usually occur in the legs, and produce pain, swelling and discoloration of the affected region. If left untreated, the clot could travel through the body and lodge itself in the lungs, causing a potentially deadly pulmonary embolism.

Decisive action was required to ensure that the man’s clot could be eliminated once and for all. Traditionally, blood thinners and clot busters are commonly prescribed to break up a clot. But the efficacy of these medications can be limited. The clots may be too large to disintegrate completely, which can cause the issue to reoccur over time. There’s also a significant danger of excessive bleeding involved in some medication-based therapies.

Fortunately for the patient in question, he was a candidate for an exciting technology called the ClotTriever® Thrombectomy System.

"The system allows us to remove the clot in its entirety on an outpatient basis without the need for anticoagulant medications or a stay in the ICU," reports Dr. David M. Epstein, a board-certified diagnostic, vascular and interventional radiologist with Watson Clinic who performs procedures from Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Dr. Epstein has offered the ClotTriever® procedure for several years, and has noticed tremendously improved outcomes among patients.

"It eliminates the risks associated with traditional deep clot therapies, such as excessive bleeding," Dr. Epstein explains. "It can remove the clot entirely in a single session, and you can go home the same day." The side effects of the clot, including swelling and discomfort, dissipate immediately upon removal.

During the procedure, a catheter is used to liberate the clot from the vein, and capture its contents in a specially designed collection bag.

The same technology works similarly in the treatment of pulmonary embolisms. When a significant clot develops in the pulmonary artery, the FlowTreiver® is used to capture and remove it in a single session without the need for potentially debilitating thrombolytic medications or the burden of an ICU stay.

For more information on these and other services offered by Watson Clinic’s Radiology department, call 863-680-7755 or visit


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