Thrombolysis, also know as thrombolytic therapy, is a treatment that dissolves blood clots with medications to improve blood flow and prevent damage to tissues and organs. This procedure is done intravenously or through a catheter placed directly into the clot. It may also involve the use of a long catheter with a mechanical device at the tip that removes or breaks up the clot.
You may be a candidate for thrombolysis if you have symptoms of a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, DVT, or a clot in an artery or bypass graft in a limb. If you have a more serious, life-threatening clot, your vascular specialist may begin thrombolytic therapy at the onset of symptoms, possibly within 1 to 2 hours.