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Pulmonary embolectomy

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Surgical removal of a pulmonary embolus is rarely performed and carries a mortality rate of up to 25%. When successful however, it rapidly restores the haemodynamic status to normal.

Indications for surgical intervention include:

  • massive pulmonary embolism
  • patient is very ill with no response to anticoagulation or thrombolysis, or thrombolysis is contraindicated because of:
    • recent surgery - within 5 days of operation (10 days of hip operation
    • active bleeding from the bowel or urinary tract etc.

Procedures that may be used:

  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • inflow stasis pulmonary embolectomy

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