Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are devices placed in patients who have a history or risk of developing DVT’s or blood clots in the legs or pelvis that may develop into pulmonary emboli, or a blood clot in the lungs. Your physician may recommend an IVC filter for the following conditions:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolus
- Trauma victims
- Recent surgery or childbirth
Using image guidance, an IVC filter is inserted via a blood vessel. Typically, the vein in the groin, or the jugular vein in the neck is used. The IVC filter is then placed through the catheter and into the vein. Once it is in the correct position, the interventional radiologist will release the filter, allowing it to fully expand and attach itself to the walls of the blood vessel.
At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed and pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding. The opening in the skin is then covered with a dressing. No sutures are needed. Your intravenous line will then be removed to complete the procedure.
The procedure is usually completed within one hour.
Vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound method used in vascular screening to evaluate your blood circulation. A vascular ultrasound may also be called a duplex study since it combines traditional ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound.
- Traditional ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures.
- Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood, to measure their speed and other aspects of how they flow.
Ultrasound is noninvasive, meaning the vascular screening exam does not require the use of needles, dyes, radiation or anesthesia. Ultrasound imaging uses a small transducer or probe, and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Since different tissues of the body, such as muscle, bone, and blood vessels have different densities, they show up differently on the image.
If you have symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), you may be a candidate for a peripheral vascular ultrasound examination. There are several types of peripheral ultrasound exams, but each uses high-frequency sound waves as the means of detection.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to provide imaging for the inside of the body. First used for medical purposes in the late 1940s, ultrasound technology has been around for decades and is a safe, reliable way for health care providers to see a picture of what is going on inside the body. The VCU Baird Vascular Institute has the latest vascular screening technology to help diagnose and treat our patients, and we’d love to talk to you more if you have questions.