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Inferior Vena Cava Filter Removal


Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter removal is a procedure to remove your IVC filter.


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 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 to your IVC filter. The hook at the tip of the catheter will attach to the filter and remove it from the walls of your IVC. Your healthcare provider will pull the catheter and the filter out together. He 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. 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. Healthcare providers will watch you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. Your healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider says you can. Talk to healthcare providers 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 healthcare providers 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.
  • Medicines:
    • Pain medicine: Healthcare providers 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 healthcare provider 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 healthcare provider may not be able to remove your filter because it has changed position. You may need another procedure to remove your filter.


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.