Angiojet Thrombectomy

Why is the doctor performing this procedure?

To use jet pump mechanics to break apart and remove harmful blood clots in a coronary or peripheral artery.

What is the procedure?

Angiojet thrombectomy is a catheter-based procedure used for thrombolysis (see Thrombolytic Treatment for other therapy options). "Thrombus" is a blood clot; "lysis" means to break apart. So, angiojet thrombectomy is used to break up a blood clot that is causing partial or full obstruction of blood flow in an artery. Angiojet thrombectomy is often used prior to angioplasty with or without stent placement, to remove dangerous blood clots, making the angioplasty procedure safer and more effective.

The angiojet is a tiny device attached to a catheter that is inserted into an artery in the groin (the femoral artery). The catheter (with angiojet attached) is advanced to the peripheral artery containing the blood clot. Once properly positioned, the pump of the angiojet is activated, delivering a saline solution under high pressure out thru the pump jets, into the artery, and directly at the blood clot. These saline jets create a powerful vacuum within the artery, breaking up the clot, and removing clot pieces out thru the catheter and into the pump. The catheter with angiojet device is removed, pressure is applied to stop bleeding, and the patient must rest flat for several hours.

Where is the procedure performed?

In the Catheterization Lab. For non-coronary arteries it can also be performed in the Interventional Radiology Suite.

How long does this procedure take?

Angiojet thrombectomy itself takes only a few minutes; the entire catheter-based procedure takes about an hour.