Nearby: Atlanta, GA 30308

Access Your Account

New to Healthgrades?

Join for free!

Or, sign in directly with Healthgrades:

Doctors and their Administrators:
Sign Up or Log In



What is thrombolysis?

Thrombolysis treats blood clots and prevents serious and life-threatening complications. It involves using medication to break up or dissolve a blood clot that has formed inside a blood vessel. Blood clots can grow, break loose, and cut off blood supply to organs and tissues. This can cause a stroke, heart attack, and other serious problems. Your doctor may use thrombolysis as an emergency or scheduled treatment, depending on your condition. 

Thrombolysis is a minor procedure, but it still involves some risk. It is only one method used to treat blood clots. Discuss all of your options with your doctor to understand which options are right for you. 

Types of thrombolysis

The types of thrombolysis include:

  • Catheter-based thrombolysis involves an incision in your groin through which your doctor inserts a catheter. Your doctor guides the catheter to the clot site and injects medication or uses special instruments to break up the clot.

  • Intravenous (IV) thrombolysis involves injecting medication through an IV. The medication travels to the site of the clot to dissolve it or break it up.

Other procedures that may be performed 

Your doctor may also perform an angiography along with your thrombolysis. An angiography is an imaging procedure that allows your doctor to take a picture (an angiogram) of your blood vessels.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Sep 6, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Catheter-directed Thrombolysis. American College of Radiology.
  2. Thrombolytic Therapy. Society for Vascular Surgery.
  3. Thrombolytic Therapy. The Ohio State University.
  4. Roberts JR, Hedges JR (eds.) Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine (5th Ed.) Philadelphia: Saunders, 2010.

You Might Also Like

5 Reasons to See a Diabetes Specialist

A diabetes specialist, called an endocrinologist, has the right skills and insight to help you stay in control of your diabetes.

Share via Email