Treatment of pulmonary embolism focuses on preventing future pulmonary embolism by using Reference anticoagulant Opens New Window medicines. Anticoagulants prevent existing blood clots from growing larger and help prevent new ones from developing.
If symptoms are severe and life-threatening, immediate and sometimes aggressive treatment is needed. Aggressive treatment may include Reference thrombolytic medicines, which can dissolve a blood clot quickly but also increase the risk of severe bleeding. Another option for life-threatening, large pulmonary embolism is surgical removal of the clot, called an embolectomy. This surgery is only available at a few large hospitals.
Some people may also benefit from having a Reference vena cava filter Opens New Window inserted into the large central vein of the body. This filter can help prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. It is used when anticoagulants are not an option, when clots form despite anticoagulant use, or when there is an increased risk of death or a severely restricted lifestyle if another pulmonary embolism occurs.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 8, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology