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.