It is a known risk you could face if you go into surgery, in fact, a new Mayo Clinic study indicates almost one-third of hospitalized patients are at risk of developing Venous Thrombosis. This is the formation of blood clots in a vein. If a piece of that clot moves up into an artery or the lungs, it can lead to a dangerous condition called deep Vein Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism, either of which can be fatal.
The good news is both those conditions are easy to avoid by using anti-clotting medications or even compression boots. But now, doctors are trying a new option at Emory University. It's an ultrasound device that can find and treat blood clots before they break loose and move into a dangerous area.
"From what I understand, I was the first person they've been used on in North America,"said Leonard Horton, a blood clot patient.
Leonard was suffering from deep vein thrombosis. But doctors used this new procedure called Ultrasound Assisted Thrombolysis to save Leonard's life. A tiny catheter equipped with an ultrasound wire is threaded to the clot, delivering medicine that dissolves it.
"The clot busting medication will melt the clot out and the ultrasound wave form will fragment the clot into smaller pieces that will make it much vulnerable to the clot-busting medication," Dr. Abbas Chamsuddden, Interventional Radiologist.
Dr. Chamsudden says Leonard's clot dissolved in a couple days while traditional treatments may take weeks or even months and he went on to a complete recovery.