When there is symptomatic chronic narrowing or closure of a vein, venous recanalization can be undertaken to reopen the vein and improve symptoms.

Preparing for the Procedure

Your child will be sedated for the procedure and will need to be fasting. Usually, medicine to stop more clots from forming (anticoagulation) will have already started before the procedure.

During the Procedure

Venous recanalization can be a challenging procedure and may take several hours. After cleaning the skin, a normal vein is entered. Guided by advanced imaging, a wire and catheter will use a balloon to dilate the vein. Intravascular ultrasound can also be used to evaluate the vein for scarring and its response to balloon dilation. If necessary, a stent can be placed in the vein to keep it from closing again.

After the Procedure

Your child will continue anticoagulation for several months after treatment to ensure complete resolution of the clot. We will see them in the Interventional Radiology clinic as an outpatient to discuss stopping anticoagulation.