Pulmonary thrombectomy

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Large saddle thromboembolus in the pulmonary arteries (white arrows)

In thoracic surgery, a pulmonary thrombectomy, is an emergency procedure that removes clotted blood (thrombus) from the pulmonary arteries.

Mechanical thrombectomies can be surgical (surgical thrombectomy) or percutaneous (percutaneous thrombectomy).[1]

Surgical thrombectomies were once popular but were abandoned because of poor long-term outcomes. Recently, in selected patients, they have gone through a resurgence with the revision of the surgical technique.[2]

Relation to PTE[edit]

Pulmonary thrombectomies and pulmonary thromboendarterectomies (PTEs) are both operations that remove thrombus. Aside from this similarity they differ in many ways.

  • PTEs are done on a nonemergency basis while pulmonary thrombectomies are typically done as an emergency procedure.
  • PTEs typically are done using hypothermia and full cardiac arrest.
  • PTEs are done for chronic pulmonary embolism, thrombectomies for severe acute pulmonary embolism.
  • PTEs are generally considered a very effective treatment, surgical thrombectomies are an area of some controversy and their effectiveness a matter of some debate in the medical community.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Casazza F, Roncon L, Greco F (Oct 2005). "Pulmonary embolism: treatment of the acute episode". Ital Heart J. 6 (10): 818–23. PMID 16270473. 
  2. ^ Augustinos P, Ouriel K (2004). "Invasive approaches to treatment of venous thromboembolism". Circulation. 110 (9 Suppl 1): I27–34. PMID 15339878. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000140900.64198.f4.