IVC Filter Placement/Removal

Our team are experts of IVC filters and have published extensively and presented at national meetings on the placement, design, and removal of IVC filters. Our team uses the most current advanced techniques to attempt retrieval of IVC filters.

IVC Filters:

Although the primary therapy for patients with a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) of their leg is blood thinners, those patients that cannot receive blood thinners may require an IVC filter.  The filter is a device that is placed either temporarily or permanently within the inferior vena cava, a blood vessel that collects the blood from the legs and brings it to the heart and lungs.  The filter acts as a sieve to protect the patient from clots that may otherwise pass to the heart and lungs.  Blood clots that travel to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism, can be life-threatening.

Both optionally retrievable and permanent filters are placed.  The type of filter placed is dependent upon several factors, including the patient’s ability to eventually tolerate blood thinners as well as the length of time the risk for blood clots is present.  Once a patient is able to tolerate blood thinners, an optionally retrievable type of IVC filter may be removed.

IVC Filter Placement:

IVC filters are placed using a minimally invasive technique under moderate sedation through only a needle stick.  Contrast is administered through a catheter positioned within the vein under x-ray guidance to confirm IVC filter position as well as the patient’s anatomy.

IVC Filter Removal:

The United States Food and Drug Administration recommends the removal of an IVC filter when it is no longer clinically indicated.  IVC filter may need to be removed because they can increase the risk for blood clots in the legs or abdomen.  Further, although all filters are approved for permanent placement, certain filter types have been found to fracture and/or cause symptoms from the filter legs.  Filters are also recommended for removal when the patient is able to tolerate blood thinners and, therefore, no longer requires the protection offered by an IVC filter.

If you have had an IVC filter placed at any time, please contact us to schedule a clinic appointment to consider if your filter may be removed.

Schedule an Appointment for Evaluation!