Atrial fibrillation is an extremely common medical problem. Patients usually require medication to thin their blood to prevent blood clots. However, for those patients who are unaware of their atrial fibrillation and not on blood thinners they can form clots in the heart that can travel to other parts of the body, blocking blood flow that would other wise deliver oxygen to tissue. A thromboembolectomy of the affected limb can remove the clot and restore blood flow.
Patients with acute blood clots to the extremities complain of pain and decreased color to the affected limb. The longer the lack of blood flow continues the more symptoms worsen. Patients will eventually complain of numbness. Finally, the inability to move the limb is an extremely late finding requiring emergent treatment to prevent lasting damage and maintain limb function.
The surgical procedure involves a small incision to localize the artery. The artery is opened and then a small balloon catheter is placed into the artery past the clot. The balloon is inflated and pulled back through the artery. This brings the clot into the incision so it can be removed. Sometimes an angiogram is performed before closing the artery. Finally, the surgeon will clinically check for improved blood flow and then close the skin.
The recovery time from this procedure is generally only a few days. However, the cause of the patient’s symptoms needs to be determined and the patient is usually anticoagulated prior to discharge. Also, if there was a lack of blood flow for an extended period of time, it may take some time for the function to return.
Dr. Jenna Kazil is a skillful vascular surgeon who performs surgical procedures at local various hospitals and sees patients at the Florida Surgical Clinic. Patients looking for the best vascular surgical specialist should visit the Florida Surgical Clinic to discuss the wide variety of operations and options their surgeon can assist them with for their health needs.The Florida Surgical Clinic is located in Bradenton, FL and its outstanding vascular surgical specialist serves the West coast of Florida population mainly in Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.