Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism

Treatment of acute pulmonary embolism is typically provided in a hospital, where your condition can be closely monitored. The goal of treatment is to primarily prevent the clot from growing and if symptoms are severe remove the clot to prevent shock, cardiac arrest or death. A secondary goal is to to reduce the severity of long-term pulmonary hypertension (shortness of breath, exercise intolerance).

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The standard of care in the management of pulmonary embolism is blood thinners (anticoagulation). Modern minimal invasive techniques can nowadays be offered (in addition to blood thinners) in selected patients with severe symptoms. These techniques involve immediate clot removal (“clot-busters” - thrombolysis). Mechanical cardiopulmonary support and open surgery to physically remove the clot are last resort treatment alternatives when other techniques have failed or are contraindicated.  

vascular health

Vascular Surgeon

Dr. Efthymios (Makis) Avgerinos is a Vascular Surgeon, Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in USA.


Scientific Editing

Efthymios D. Avgerinos, MD, PhD, FEBVS
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Center Pennsylvania, USA