What is an IVC filter placement? Why would I need one?

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are a type of vascular filter implanted into the inferior vena cava 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.

Physicians use guided imaging to place IVC filters into the veins for those at risk of a blood clot. A catheter is inserted into a large vein in the neck or groin and guided to the inferior vena cava, or IVC, in the abdomen. Once it is in the correct position, the filter is released, allowing it to fully expand and attach itself to the walls of the blood vessel. This will allow the filter to trap clots that are working their way up into the lungs. This minimally invasive procedure is quick and relatively pain-free.

Your physician may recommend an IVC filter for conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolus (PE), severe physical trauma, immobility or recent surgery or childbirth.

Your healthcare team will help you choose the best treatment options for your situation. If you want to learn more about treatment for DVT and PE or if you have been told that you need an IVC Filter Placement, please contact VCU Health at Baird Vascular Institute at (804) 828-2600 or email us at bairdvascularinstitute@mcvh-vcu.edu.

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