Prevent pulmonary embolisms with this minimally invasive procedure
Embolisms occur when blood clots form in different parts of the body, but break off and travel to cause blockage elsewhere. Such clots often occur in the deep veins of the legs, which is known as deep vein thrombosis. Pulmonary embolisms (PEs) occur when a clot such as one in the deep veins of the leg breaks off and travel up to the lungs, where it blocks an artery. PEs can quickly become fatal if not treated and prevented, as the clot can block oxygen from travelling to tissues that need it. IVC Filters can help prevent this.
The IVC filter placement procedure is minimally invasive and you will be able to go home the same day.
First, an IV line is put into your arm before the procedure, through which sedation will be delivered to you, so that you feel relaxed and sleepy during the procedure. Next, the incision site (usually the groin or neck) will be numbed, and your surgeon will make a small incision to gain access to a major vein that leads to the IVC. A catheter (a long, thin tube) is then inserted into this vein, and moved up into the ICV, as your physician is guided by continuous X-Rays (fluoroscopy). The filter will be sent through the catheter to your IVC, where it will expand and attack to the walls of the IVC. The catheter will then be removed, and then the incision site is closed and bandaged.
It is recommended that your IVC filter be removed once risk of a pulmonary embolism has passed, or when you are able to resume taking blood thinners.
How is the IVC filter removed?
The procedure to remove the filter is very similar to that of its placement. An incision is made in the neck or groin to access a vein leading to the IVC and a catheter is inserted, through which a snare wire loop is threaded. With X-ray guidance, your surgeon will use to snare the grasp the hook on the IVC filter and retrieve the filter.
There are some risks associated with IVC filter retrieval, including:
other complications related to filter changing position after placement
Conditions Treatable with IVC Filter Placement/Removal