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EKOS Acoustic Pulse Thrombolysis

When a blood clot threatens life and limb, treating the clot quickly and effectively is vital. You can get one of the most advanced blood clot treatment options available today at the Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute.

EKOS Acoustic Pulse Thrombolysis is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to dissolve clots.

Types of blood clots treated with EKOS include:

  • Pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot that blocks an artery in a lung, which can be fatal.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that develops in a large vein of the legs or pelvis. Some of these blood clots may break loose, travel to the lungs and form a PE.
  • Peripheral arterial occlusion, a blockage of a blood vessel in the legs, usually due to hardening of the arteries. Severe blockages can increase the risk of amputation.

How EKOS works

EKOS uses ultrasonic soundwaves and medications to dissolve blood clots. To perform this procedure, our highly skilled experts guide a catheter to the site of the blood clot. Clot-busting medicine is then released through the catheter.

In addition, the EKOS catheter is equipped with a special acoustic device. This device, called an ultrasonic core, sends out pulses of sound waves that drive the medicine deep into the clot, which speeds up its disintegration.

Studies show that EKOS can quickly and completely dissolve even hard-to-reach clots.

EKOS advantages

EKOS has a number of potential advantages over other treatments used to dissolve blood clots:

  • Shorter treatment times and hospital stays

  • Less risk of internal bleding in people with PE. Internal bleeding, such as a hemorrhage within the brain, can be a side effect of clot-busting drugs. EKOS concentrates the drug delivered to the clot and requires much less of the drug to break up the clot than with other therapies.

  • Decreased risk of leg amputation in people with a blood clot blocking an artery, compared to those who receive standard therapy
  • Reduced risk of PE in people being treated for DVT
  • Reduced risk of post-thrombotic syndrome, a complication of DVT that causes pain, swelling, discoloration and—in severe cases—scaling or ulcers

Is EKOS right for you?

At Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute, EKOS is one more way that we bring the latest in cardiovascular surgeries and procedures to Northwest Louisiana.

EKOS has a number of indications. But it isn’t right for everyone. Each person’s condition is evaluated carefully to identify treatment options. Your healthcare team can help you understand if EKOS is right for you.