Pulmonary Embolism Treatment at Tampa General Hospital

A patient’s specific pulmonary embolism treatment will depend on many different factors. Since this condition involves a blood clot that has probably formed in the deep veins of the legs, traveling through the circulatory system and impeding blood flow to the lungs, the most important factors in determining the best course of treatment will mostly depend on the size of the clot and the amount of lung tissue that has been affected. However, other considerations, such as the patient’s overall health and specific, preexisting conditions are also taken into account.

Generally, there are two broad categories of pulmonary embolism treatment:

  • Medications
  • Blood thinners – These drugs are used to prevent any further blood clots from forming that could potentially cause more embolisms.
  • Clot dissolvers – These drugs, which can rapidly dissolve clots in the arteries, are typically only used when an embolism is life-threatening because it can have potentially dangerous side effects, such as severe bleeding.
  • Surgery
  • Clot removal or surgical dissolving – Usually performed only when a clot is large and life-threatening, this surgical procedure involves threading a catheter through the circulatory system to administer clot dissolvers or to mechanically break up the clot.
  • Vena cava filter implantation – This procedure involves implanting a filter device into the inferior vena cava (a large vein in the lower extremities) to prevent clots from reaching the lungs.

At Tampa General Hospital, our multispecialty team has the experience and advanced technologies required to provide our patients with an accurate diagnosis and effective pulmonary embolism treatment. Our patients’ conditions are assessed in our ultrasound vascular laboratory. To be referred to a specialist with Tampa General Hospital, please visit our online Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).