Welcome to Stanford Interventional Radiology

Treat DVT at Stanford Hospital and Clinics:

Stanford Interventional Radiology pioneered minimally invasive treatment for deep venous thrombosis over 15 years ago. Since then, Stanford Interventional Radiology has led the world in innovative treatments of deep venous thrombosis. We have developed techniques to treat acute and chronic DVT.

Acute DVT
Standard anticoagulation with coumadin, heparin or low molecular weight heparin (i.e. lovenox) prevent more clot from forming, but does not remove the existing clot from the vein. This therapy relies on the body to "dissolve" the clot. Unfortunately, this often does not occur and the vein will remain blocked forever.

At Stanford we have a variety of new devices and methods that remove the clot from the vein. Some devices allow us to administer a "clot-busting" drug directly into the clot. Other devices break up the clot into tiny pieces that are then removed using a catheter. Often, these techniques uncover a particular narrowing of the vein that caused the blood clot to form, and we are able to treat this by implanting a stent to open the vein. The benefit treating this narrowing, is that it will likely decrease your risk of developing blood clots in the future. This is typically an outpatient procedure, or an single over-night stay.

Patients with the best outcomes, are patients that have had symptons that are less than 30 days. The clot seems to respond very favorably when it is "fresh". The optimal outcomes are seen in patients with symptoms less than 14 days.

Unfortunately, many physicians that are not interventional radiologists are unaware or unfamiliar with these new techniques. We recommend a consultation with our experienced Stanford faculty.

Chronic DVT

Patients with chronic DVT experience leg swelling, pain and often skin discoloration of the leg below the knee. These patients typically wear compression stockings in order to help with these symptoms. These symptoms are related to the vein being blocked and not allowing blood flow out of the leg.

At Stanford we have a variety of new techniques to re-open veins that have been blocked for years. We have opened up veins that have been blocked for 25 years, with significant improvement in the patients’ symptoms. We place a metal stent into these blocked veins to keep the vein open. The stent is similar to those put in the heart, except the stents we use in veins are much larger. This is typically an outpatient procedure and the patient is discharged the same day, able to walk, with just a band-aid where we entered the vein.

Of particular interest to our faculty are blood clots that occurred while on oral contraceptives, also known as birth control pills or while pregnant. We have developed an effective method to treat these women, and get them back to their active lifestyle.

Who is at risk to develop DVT? Patients with; cancer, taking hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills), pregnant, recent surgery, immobilization, family history of blood clots.