Rheolytic Thrombectomy| Blood Clot Procedure | MedStar Health

Using a jet of saline to break up a blood clot

Rheolytic thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to break up blood clots. The treatment may be used after a pulmonary embolism or as an alternative to clot-busting drugs after a heart attack.

During this procedure, your doctor will guide a thin, flexible tube known as a catheter through a blood vessel to the site of the clot. A special pump will deliver a high-pressure jet of saline to the tip of the catheter. This creates a vacuum that breaks the clot into fragments and suctions the fragments out of the artery.


Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A blood clot that typically affects the legs and arms and can travel through the bloodstream to the heart, lungs, or brain and cause a stroke or pulmonary embolism.

Venous Thrombosis

Venous thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in your veins.

Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the lungs’ arteries. It’s usually caused by a deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the legs or arms that travels to the lungs.


Arterial Duplex Ultrasound for Arms and Legs

Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets and computer technology to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar St Mary's Hospital

25500 Point Lookout Rd.
Leonardtown, MD 20650

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.