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Inferior Vena Cava (Ivc) Filter Removal

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

An IVC filter is usually removed when the risk for a blood clot has decreased. You may be able to take blood thinner medicine and no longer need a filter.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cough up blood.
  • You feel lightheaded and short of breath.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your incision has come apart.
  • You feel like you are going to faint.
  • Your nails or lips look blue.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Clots can cause strokes, heart attacks, and death. The following are general safety guidelines to follow while you are taking a blood thinner:
    • Watch for bleeding and bruising while you take blood thinners. Watch for bleeding from your gums or nose. Watch for blood in your urine and bowel movements. Use a soft washcloth on your skin, and a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. This can keep your skin and gums from bleeding. If you shave, use an electric shaver. Do not play contact sports.
    • Tell your dentist and other healthcare providers that you take a blood thinner. Wear a bracelet or necklace that says you take this medicine.
    • Do not start or stop any other medicines unless your healthcare provider tells you to. Many medicines cannot be used with blood thinners.
    • Take your blood thinner exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not skip does or take less than prescribed. Tell your provider right away if you forget to take your blood thinner, or if you take too much.
    • Warfarin is a blood thinner that you may need to take. The following are things you should be aware of if you take warfarin:
      • Foods and medicines can affect the amount of warfarin in your blood. Do not make major changes to your diet while you take warfarin. Warfarin works best when you eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and certain other foods. Ask for more information about what to eat when you are taking warfarin.
      • You will need to see your healthcare provider for follow-up visits when you are on warfarin. You will need regular blood tests. These tests are used to decide how much medicine you need.
  • Antibiotics help prevent or fight an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Care for the procedure area as directed. Keep the area clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the area with soap and water. Gently dry the area and put on new, clean bandages if directed to. Check the area for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus.
  • Limit activity. Do not lift, pull, or push until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause heart and lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

You may need to return to have the procedure area checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.