IVC Filter Placement and Removal Los Angeles
IVC filters are 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
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?
- 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.
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Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Eghbalieh or Dr. Abi-Chaker at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center.