Procedure Description

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filters are used to prevent blood clots from traveling from the lower extremities to the heart and lungs, often referred to as a pulmonary embolism or PE.  During placement of an IVC Filter, the interventional radiologist uses imaging guidance to place the device within the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the abdomen.  This procedure can be performed with only a small incision in the neck or groin.  IVC Filters may be permanent or a retrievable type designed to be removed at a later date.

Due to potential long term complications such as filter penetration of the vessel wall, device fracture or vessel blockage, it is important to have retrievable filters removed within 6 months of placement if clinically feasible.

Conditions Treated

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Am I a good candidate?

Patients with a blood clot might be a candidate for filter placement if they are not deemed a candidate for anticoagulation medication (blood thinners).

What should I Expect?

This procedure can be done in an outpatient setting and generally takes less than 1 hour

Recovery Time

Average recovery time is 1-2 hours.

First Steps

Patients with a known DVT or history of DVT can be referred by their primary care physicians, pulmonologist or hematologist.

Benefits Comparison

DVT treatment option for patients who are not able to take anticoagulation medications.

Resources:

http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=venacavafilter