Vein interruption is a procedure that can save your life by preventing a pulmonary embolism. Michael Kassouf, MD, and the team at Vein Doc NYC have extensive experience protecting your health with a filter to catch loose blood clots. If you have leg pain or a deep vein thrombosis diagnosis and want to learn about treatment options, call the office in the Midtown East area of New York City or schedule an appointment online.

Vein Interruption

What is vein interruption?

When a blood clot forms in the deep veins in your legs, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), it can easily break free, travel through your bloodstream, and reach your lungs. Once in the lungs, the clot may block the pulmonary artery, which is a life-threatening emergency called a pulmonary embolism. Vein interruption is a procedure that prevents a free-floating blood clot from reaching your lungs.

What should I know about deep vein thrombosis?

DVT develops when:

  • Blood flow through the vein is slow
  • Your blood clots quickly
  • The vein is inflamed or injured

Being inactive for an extended time is one of the most common causes of DVT. For example, you may have been on a long car trip or plane ride, or on bed rest following surgery.

Medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, obesity, chronic respiratory failure, and varicose veins increase your chances of developing a DVT. You’re also at a higher risk if you smoke, you’re pregnant, or you take estrogen.

About half of all patients with DVT don’t develop symptoms. The rest experience pain and tenderness in their calf muscles. They may also develop swelling, or their leg may turn blue or purple.

How is deep vein thrombosis treated?

The initial treatment for DVT includes blood thinners and medications to break down the clot. If medications can’t treat your DVT, the team at Vein Doc NYC may recommend taking steps to ensure you won’t suffer a pulmonary embolism. The best way to do that is with vein interruption.

What should I expect during a vein interruption procedure?

A vein interruption procedure targets the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein that receives blood from all the veins in your legs and lower abdomen. Your doctor at Vein Doc NYC interrupts the inferior vena cava (IVC) by placing a metal filter (IVC filter) inside the vein to catch loose pieces of a DVT. 

Using ultrasound imaging to see the inferior vena cava and the catheter carrying the IVC filter, your Vein Doc NYC physician inserts the catheter into a large vein in your neck or upper leg, then guides the catheter to the inferior vena cava in your abdomen. When it’s in the proper location, they place the IVC filter into the vein, where it expands and attaches itself to the blood vessel walls.

If you have symptoms of, or you have a DVT diagnosis, call Vein Doc NYC or schedule an appointment online to learn more about vein interruption.