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Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is inferior vena cava filter placement?
Inferior vena cava filter placement is a procedure 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.
Why do I need an IVC filter?
You may need an IVC filter if you have a blood clot in your leg. You may also need an IVC filter if your risk of blood clots is increased, such as after surgery or during pregnancy. You may need a temporary or permanent filter.
What happens during IVC filter placement?
Your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider will press firmly on the area where the catheter went in, to stop any bleeding. After a few minutes, your healthcare provider will put a bandage on the area.
What are the risks of an IVC filter?
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.
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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.