Central Venous Occlusion

Central Venous Occlusion Treatment

Central venous occlusion, or obstruction, is a condition in the upper extremities where the vein coming from the arm into the chest becomes narrowed, blocked, or pinched, ultimately cutting off blood flow. The occlusion is the blockage of the vein and is typically a result of a blood clot.

Causes & Symptoms of Occlusion

Central venous occlusion is usually seen in young people that use their arms in repetitive tasks and motions such as house painting, swimming, or vigorous arm exercises. By overusing the muscles, thickening occurs and can pinch the vein, cutting off blood flow. Although it is most common in people from teens to those in their forties, the elderly can also develop occlusion due to complications of medical procedures.

Central venous occlusions are often common signs of complications for patients undergoing dialysis catheterization. Fistula placement and the presence of an ipsilateral vascular access can cause swelling due to an increase in blood flow to the extremities. Central venous catheters used for dialysis also increase the likelihood of developing central venous occlusion.

Symptoms of central venous occlusion include:

  • Sudden and acute pain
  • Edema, aka swelling, in the arms or face
  • Discoloration of the arm
  • Shortness of breath

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek out a professional medical diagnosis. Dr. Aaron Shiloh, MD provides expert advice to patients in Bucks County, Montgomery County, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, PA. Contact him today to schedule an appointment.

Treatment Options

Endovascular interventions are often used for central venous occlusion treatment, including recanalization, angioplasty, and stenting. Recanalization or reconstruction of an occluded vein requires access to the damaged area. With the use of catheters and guidewires, the damaged area can be accessed for repair. Recanalization can be done under local anesthesia, and patients can quickly return to their daily activities.

Angioplasty is when a catheter is used to insert a small balloon into the patient’s vein. The balloon is then inflated to open the vein that has been previously blocked off or obstructed. In order to keep the vein open after this procedure, a stent can be inserted.

Other treatments available to patients are:

    • Anticoagulation therapy – this form of therapy uses medicine for the prevention or treatment of blood clots.
    • Thrombolysis – also known as thrombolytic therapy, this is a treatment that dissolves blood clots in veins to improve blood flow while preventing any damage to tissues and organs.


With extensive experience and specialization in central venous occlusion treatments, Dr. Aaron Shiloh, MD is committed to getting patients back to their daily activities as soon as possible. By using minimally invasive methods and cutting-edge technology, he is able to reduce recovery time significantly. His goal is to get to the root of the problem and fix it so patients can live pain-free. For less pain and quicker results for patients located in Bucks County, Montgomery County, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, PA, and the surrounding areas, contact Dr. Shiloh and learn more about how he treats central venous occlusion.

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