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Catheter Assisted Thrombolysis (EKOS)

The EKOS is an ultrasound machine that is used to break up blood clot(s) in a desired area of your body. It uses ultrasound waves and special clot dissolving medication that helps remove the clot(s).

Before Your Procedure

  • You cannot eat any foods 8 hours or drink any liquids 4 hours.
  • You will have an IV placed for the sedation medication that a nurse will give during the procedure.
  • Due to the required bedrest after, you may have a small tube (catheter) placed in your bladder to drain your urine.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be laying on an X-ray exam table.
  • You will be placed on a monitor that will record your vital signs. The nurse will then give you the sedation medication to help with pain and relaxation.
  • Your skin will be cleaned where the long, thin tube will enter your body.
  • This is usually at your groin or behind your knee, depending on the clots location.
  • An Interventional Radiologist will insert the long, thin tube into a blood vessel. The tube is then directed to the general area of the clot.
  • A series of X-ray pictures will be taken to locate the exact location of the clot.
  • Once located, the tube will be put in the clot.
  • The dissolving medication will be started, and the ultrasound waves will be turned on.
  • The tube will be covered with a dressing to ensure it stays securely in place.
  • This makes it very important to not bend your leg or attempt to sit up during or after the procedure.

After Your Procedure

  • You will be moved to a room in the hospital while the device and medication are working to dissolve the clot.
  • You will need to lay flat on your back until the tubes are removed. This will prevent any issues with the delivery of medication and ultrasound waves.
  • The tubes will remain in place for at least 12 hours or until the medication delivery is complete.
  • After the tubes are removed, your activity will slowly increase.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO