Thomas J. Fogarty

Born: 1934
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio

Embolectomy balloon catheter—Dr. Fogarty's embolectomy catheter, which is used to remove blood clots, consists of a small hollow tube (catheter) with a balloon attached to the tip. The tube is inserted into the blood vessel and through the blood clot (embolus). The balloon is then inflated, so that when the tube is pulled out, the balloon drags the clot out with it. Because it is less invasive than regular surgery, this technique reduces the health risks and trauma to the patient. A modified version of the embolectomy catheter is also used in angioplasty to clear plaque from clogged arteries. (2001)