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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about an embolectomy?

An embolectomy is surgery to remove an embolus from an artery or vein. An embolus is part of a blood clot that broke free. It can travel through your bloodstream and become stuck in another area. This is called an embolism. An embolism can block blood flow to the area. An embolus in your vein can reach your lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism, or PE. An embolus in your artery can reach your brain. This can cause a stroke. An embolus in a femoral artery in your leg can cause tissue death in the leg. An embolus in an artery in your abdomen can cause pain and vomiting. An embolectomy is used when medicines or procedures cannot be used, or are not successful.

Thrombus and Embolus

How do I prepare for an embolectomy?

An embolectomy may need to be done as immediate emergency surgery. The following is general information if you are able to plan for surgery.

What will happen during an embolectomy?

What should I expect after an embolectomy?

What are the risks of an embolectomy?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. The blood vessel or tissues near the area may be damaged. Your surgeon may not be able to remove the embolus. Pieces of the embolus may break free and continue through the blood vessel.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.