What is thrombolysis?

Also known as: chemical thrombolysis, mechanical thrombolysis.

Thrombolysis is a treatment that can break up blood clots lodged in veins. Doing so can prevent the clots from potentially causing heart attacks or strokes later on.

What happens during the treatment?

There are different forms of thrombolysis. Chemical thrombolysis involves injecting medicine into the bloodstream, such as tissue plasminogen activator, that dissolves the clot. This is often done for the emergency treatment of a heart attack or stroke. Mechanical thrombolysis involves using specialized surgical tools that are inserted into the veins in order to remove the clot mechanically.

Is any special preparation needed?

In most cases, these treatments are used in emergency situations to prevent or reduce damage caused by a heart attack or stroke.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, and damage to surrounding organs and tissues are potential risks of thrombolysis.

Reviewed by: Anthony F Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

© 2021 Nicklaus Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.