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Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Inferior vena cava filter placement is surgery to place a filter into your inferior vena cava (IVC). The IVC is a large blood vessel that brings blood from your lower body back to your heart. The filter is a small mesh strainer made of thin wires. It is placed in the center of the IVC to trap blood clots going to your heart or lungs.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your procedure:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
During your procedure:
Your caregiver will insert a catheter (thin plastic tube) into a blood vessel in your neck or groin. He will use an ultrasound or x-ray to guide the catheter into your IVC. The filter will be pushed through the catheter and attached to the walls of the IVC. The catheter is pulled out and the filter is left in. Your caregiver will press firmly on the area where the catheter went in, to stop any bleeding. After a few minutes, your caregiver will put a bandage on the area. The bandage will keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. Your caregiver may remove the bandage to check your wound.
- Activity: You may need to walk around the same day of your procedure, or the day after. Movement will help prevent blood clots. You may also be given exercises to do in bed. Do not get out of bed on your own until your caregiver says you can. Talk to caregivers before you get up the first time. They may need to help you stand up safely. When you are able to get up on your own, sit or lie down right away if you feel weak or dizzy. Then press the call light button to let caregivers know you need help.
- You will be able to drink liquids and eat certain foods once your stomach function returns after surgery. You may be given ice chips at first. Then you will get liquids such as water, broth, juice, and clear soft drinks. If your stomach does not become upset, you may then be given soft foods, such as ice cream and applesauce. Once you can eat soft foods easily, you may slowly begin to eat solid foods.
- Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your IVC and the tissue around it may get damaged during the procedure. Your filter may break, loosen, move, or get blocked. You may need another procedure to fix these problems with your filter.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.