The inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a medical device the interventional radiologists at RIA Endovascular place in the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood to the heart and lungs. The small metal device blocks blood clots that originate in the legs from reaching the pulmonary artery.
If a blood clot reaches the pulmonary artery, it may block the flow of blood to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening condition.
Your cardiologist may recommend an IVC filter if you have blood clots and can’t take blood-thinning medications. Or, you continue to develop blood clots when taking blood-thinning medications.
Your doctor may also suggest placement of the medical device if you have or previously had a blood clot in a deep vein in your leg, called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). People with a history of PEs may also need an inferior vena cava filter.
The interventional radiologists at RIA Endovascular use minimally invasive techniques when placing an inferior vena cava filter. They discuss the procedure with you so you know how to prepare and what to expect afterward.
You’re given a sedative to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Your provider makes an incision near a major vein and inserts a catheter. They advance the catheter to the abdominal vein using X-ray-guided imaging and deploy the filter.
The interventional radiologist removes the catheter and closes the incision. You then go to the recovery room for monitoring. You may go home the same day or spend a night at the hospital for continued care.
You may have some pain and fatigue following the procedure but can resume light activities the next day.
You can have a permanent IVC filter. However, you can get the medical device removed if it’s safe for you to take blood thinners or your risk of developing blood clots is low.
RIA Endovascular removes the filter using techniques similar to placement. They insert a catheter and advance it to the filter, use a catheter-based snare to grab it, and cover it with a sheath. Then, they remove the filter from the body.
Call RIA Endovascular today or schedule a consultation online to learn about inferior vena cava filter placement or removal from the experts.