SSM Health Medical Minute: New FlowTriever Technology treating pulmonary embolisms

ST. CHARLES, Mo. - A new non-surgical tool for treating pulmonary embolisms is now available at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles. The FlowTriever is used to physically remove clots inside the pulmonary artery that historically have only been treated through thrombolytic drugs.

It is suitable for qualified patients whose clots travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism – a common condition that is sometimes fatal and necessitates prompt treatment. The FlowTreiver significantly improves the patient experience and provides cost savings over alternative methods of care.

Specialists can thread a guidewire through an incision in the leg to physically separate the clot from the vessel wall and remove it from the body.  FlowTriever technology is comparable to one becoming more common in stroke treatment. By performing stent thrombectomy using a retrievable stent, interventional neurologists have discovered a significant clinical benefit versus simply using the clot-busting drug tPA. It has been transformative in the treatment of stroke.

For clots inside the pulmonary artery, thrombolytic drugs are typically the first line of treatment. While it is effective in aspirating the clots, many patients are not appropriate for thrombolytic therapy due to bleeding risks. For those patients, the only option is breaking the clot emergently.

“This technology will definitely give more chances for surviving and often fatal disease,” said Dr. Fazal Majeed, a vascular and interventional radiologist with SSM Health St. Louis.

A similar device known as the ClotTriever can be deployed and utilized for larger peripheral veins in the legs and other areas of the body.

St. Joseph Hospital - St. Charles is the second SSM Health ministry to offer the procedure; it was first introduced at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in November 2018.

To learn more about vascular treatments offered by SSM Health, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Wednesday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​

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