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Methodist Sugar Land Hospital unveils more effective treatment for dangerous blood clots

Sugar Land, TX - 7/2/2012

Two surgeons at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital recently performed Fort Bend County’s first ultrasound accelerated thrombolysis procedure, a faster and more effective method of treating blood clots related to deep venous thrombosis, or DVT.

Uttam Tripathy, M.D. and patient, Ms. Omar WilliamsUttam Tripathy, M.D. and patient, Ms. Omar Williams

Vascular surgeon, Imran Mohiuddin, M.D. and cardiothoracic surgeon, Uttam Tripathy, M.D., used the new EKOS drug delivery catheter with ultrasound transducers to directly administer clot-dissolving medication and perfuse the drug deep into the patient’s blood clot.

“It’s not unusual for patients with a dangerous blood clot to present at the emergency room in severe pain and in need of immediate treatment,” says Dr. Mohiuddin.  “In the past, the medications used to dissolve the clot could take hours or even days to work.  The EKOS system allows us to deliver clot-busting drugs directly into the clot itself, reducing the amount of time the patient is in pain and eliminating potentially harmful impacts.”

DVT is the major cause of massive pulmonary embolism, which results in about 60,000 deaths each year in the U.S.   In addition, as many as 70% of the estimated 600,000 new cases of DVT that develop each year will lead to post-thrombotic syndrome, which causes permanent debilitating damage in the affected veins and valves.

Most cases of DVT occur in patients who have recently had surgery, broken limbs, cancer or history of a heart attack, stroke or congestive heart therapy.  In rare cases, DVT can be caused by long periods of sitting.  Clots related to DVT usually form in the leg or pelvis but sometimes occur in the arm or chest.  Symptoms include redness or skin discoloration, calf or leg pain or tenderness, especially when walking or standing; swelling of the affected body part; a sensation of warmth; or leg fatigue.

For Ms. Omar Williams, a school teacher from Dallas, EKOS was a life-saver.  Williams, 62, was in Sugar Land visiting family members when she began having severe chest pain that affected her ability to walk or even talk.  When she arrived at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, the Emergency Department staff confirmed that she had suffered a pulmonary embolism, and Dr. Tripathy was called in to perform the EKOS procedure.

“My story is a miracle,” Williams said.  “The doctors in the Emergency Department told me that if I had waited another hour or so, I might not be alive today.  But I like to think I was blessed to have an angel working through Dr. Tripathy’s hands to save my life.”

“The EKOS system gives us an effective tool to treat patients who are in extreme distress and in danger of suffering a dangerous embolism,” says Dr. Tripathy.  “The catheter allows us to reach the clot directly through the vein and the ultrasound energy ensures that the drug is diffused evenly, dissolving the fibrin strands that create clots and allowing blood to flow.  This delivery system represents a major step forward in the treatment of this serious health risk and in certain cases of pulmonary embolism, can be life-saving.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tripathy, Dr. Mohiuddin or another cardiothoracic or vascular surgeon in your area, please call the Methodist Sugar Land Hospital physician referral line at 281-274-7500.

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