A thrombectomy is a procedure for removing a thrombus (blood clot) from a blood vessel. Sometimes performed as emergency surgery, a thrombectomy quickly restores circulation to the affected part.

A long, thin, hollow tube (catheter) is threaded through the blood vessel to the site of the embolism, guided by X-ray. Once the catheter is in place, it's used to break up the embolism, pull it out or dissolve it using thrombolytic medication.

Open surgery is rarely performed to treat blood clots.

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