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IVC Filter Placement and Removal Los Angeles

IVC filters are used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE).

What are IVC Filters?

Person who has undergone an IVC filter placement with the vascular surgeon at SCMSC in Los Angeles

IVC filters may be used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE).

Vena Cava filters or IVC (inferior vena cava) filters are used to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE).

Your vena cava is a large vein in your abdomen that moves blood from your lower body to your heart. An IVC filter is a small mesh like device that captures or “filters” a blood clot in your vena cava, thereby preventing it from reaching your lungs.

Your physician may recommend an IVC filter be placed if you have blood clots in your body or are diagnosed with a clotting disorder and are unable to take blood thinners. 

IVC filters can be permanent or removable. Your physician will make a clinical decision on your need for an IVC filter and if you would be best suited for a temporary filter or a permanent one. IVC filters are placed through a small access incision in your groin or your neck. They are done with little to no anesthesia or pain killers. You will go home the same day in most cases and can return to normal activity within a week.

IVC Filters Q & A

Just a few examples of the IVC filters we have removed with our advanced and minimally invasive vascular techniques. Many of these patients were told they would have to live with these filters implanted for the rest of their lives after other surgeons were unsuccessful at removing them. Call our office for a 2nd opinion if you have been unable to have your IVC filter successfully removed.

How long until a temporary IVC filters needs to be removed?

If your physician decides you should have a temporary filter, you may also discuss a plan for when the filter will be removed. Most temporary filters have indications to be removed within 45 days.

If your filter is left in longer than the time recommended, it may be difficult or impossible to remove.

Drs. Eghbalieh and Abi-Chaker specialize in complex IVC filter removal and they are able to use many advanced techniques for removal. If you have a temporary filter placed that has not been removed, contact our office for a 2nd opinion.

What are the risk factors for IVC Filter placement?

  • Pregnancy 
  • Blood clotting disorder
  • Post-surgery, prolonged bed rest 
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Unable to take blood thinners
  • High risk of pulmonary embolism (PE)

IVC Filter Placement

IVC filters can be placed under little to no anesthesia in an outpatient setting. In most cases, you go home the same day and can return to regular activities within a week. 

Your physician will make a small hole or incision in your groin or your neck to access the vein for placement. They will use x-ray and contrast (x-ray dye) to guide them with the placement of the filter. Once placement is confirmed, your physician will deploy the filter. Once the filter is in place, you are instantly receiving protection from large blood clots that could cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). They will then remove the catheters and close your incision. If you received a temporary filter, your physician may also discuss a plan to remove the filter. Be sure to continue regular monitoring and follow up with your physician and follow all recommended medication protocols. 

IVC filter placement and removal can be a routine procedure, but it’s important to choose a physician that specializes in this area as there are many serious adverse side effects that can occur during placement and removal. Vascular surgeons are well suited to place and remove filters and can manage any complications that occur.

Risks and Complications

  • IVC filter fracture
  • IVC filter thrombosis
  • Hole in your vena cava as a result of filter placement 
  • Filter migration, the filter can move to your heart or lungs after placement 
  • Access site infection 
  • Damage to access vessels during placement or removal 
  • Unable to remove the temporary filter 
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE)

To schedule an evaluation with the doctors at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center, call 818-900-6480.

Our Vascular & Endovascular Surgeons

It's important to remember not all physicians are trained in advanced vascular and endovascular surgery. It’s a good practice to get multiple opinions and do research on the surgery and the physician.

Dr. Sammy Eghbalieh is the best vascular surgeon in Los Angeles at the Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Sammy Eghbalieh, MD, FACS, DFSVS, RPVI

Dr. Andrew Abi-Chaker is a top vascular surgeon at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center in Los Angeles
Andrew Abi-Chaker, MD
Dr. Sammy Eghbalieh is the best vascular surgeon in Los Angeles at the Southern California Multi-Specialty Center
Tony Shao, MD, RPVI

Make an appointment at SCMSC

We look forward to welcoming you

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Eghbalieh or Dr. Abi-Chaker at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center.

SCMSC front office staff welcoming a Los Angeles patient for IVC filter removal