Innovative device helps treat blood clots
Left standing: St. John resident Roger Anderson (right) is on the move again after undergoing a throbectomy to remove life-threatening blood clots from his leg. Dr. Arvind Gandhi, an interventional cardiologist at Community Hospital performed the procedure. | Supplied photo
Right place, right doctor, right device makes for a great patient experience.
Charles “Roger” Anderson, 77, likes to keep active and tries to take a long walk in his St. John neighborhood every day. But in January of 2012, the usually mobile Anderson was stopped in his tracks with severe pain in his left leg that had become red and swollen, and he had difficulty breathing.
His wife Judy knew he was in trouble. She recognized the signs of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and made sure he went straight to Community Hospital in Munster where he met with Arvind Gandhi, M.D., an interventional cardiologist.
“Mr. Anderson came in with several blood clots, or DVT, that were completely collapsing the vein in his thigh,” Gandhi said. “After anticoagulant therapy was administered, we declotted Mr. Anderson’s leg with a procedure called a thrombectomy to remove the blood clots that had formed in the femoral and iliac veins and allow him to walk again. It’s a complicated procedure, but we were able to get very good results with the help of special equipment in Community Hospital’s cath lab.”
Roger Anderson said Dr. Gandhi is one of the best doctor’s he’s ever had.
“He took the time to talk to me and explain in detail the device he used to remove the clots — a type of balloon angioplasty — then the stent he placed in the collapsed vein. I could walk fine in no time,” he said.
The Trellis Peripheral Infusion System consists of a catheter, two balloons that are positioned on either side of the clot, and holes on the sides of the balloons that disperse drugs to dissolve the clots.
“Mr. Anderson’s leg was severely clotted and we had to use the Trellis device in segments,” explained Gandhi. “First, we inserted the catheter and balloon at the top of the vein and pulled it through and declotted or dissolved the clot with medication, then inserted another balloon further down the femoral vein and pulled through and declotted all over again and so on,” he said.
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT, also called venous thrombosis, is a blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body. The clot may partially or completely block the blood flow through the vein. Most DVTs occur in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis, although they can occur in other parts of the body including the arm, brain, intestines, liver or kidney.
Even though DVT is not life-threatening itself, a blood clot has the potential to break free and travel through the bloodstream where it may become lodged in the blood vessels of the lung (called a pulmonary embolism). Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition, so prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary.
Provided by Community Healthcare System