Medical Imaging

Angiography > Exams & Procedures > Thrombolysis

This is an arterial procedure similar to an angiogram. This is done when a patient has a sudden clotting of a vessel either in their arms or leg. A small, thin tube commonly referred to as a catheter is inserted in an artery, usually in a blood vessel in the groin region. The catheter is then placed as close to the clot/obstruction as possible. A special declotting agent is infused through the clot to dissolve it.

The procedure takes about one hour. The patient will be in the intensive care unit overnight and will return to the angiography department to determine if further treatment is necessary.


  • If you are diabetic, do everything you would normally do. Do not take your metformin. A blood test will be done once you arrive in hospital.
  • If you are not diabetic, do not have anything to eat or drink after midnight.
  • If you are taking aspirin, Coumadin, Tyclid, Plavix or Aggrenox please stop taking this medication one week before, but only with your doctor's approval.
  • Please take all of your medications with a small amount of water, especially heart and blood pressure medications.
  • If you have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast media (X-ray dye), please inform us and your doctor in advance. Your doctor may order a medication for you to take prior to your procedure.
  • You will need someone to take you home and stay with you overnight, if there is no other adult at home.