FILTERS PLACEMENTS :
During Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter placement, a filtering device is placed within the IVC, a large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. Blood clots in the veins of the legs and pelvis can occasionally travel to the lungs where they may cause a pulmonary embolism or blockage. IVC filters help reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism by trapping large clots and preventing them from reaching the heart and lungs. They have a high rate of success in patients who don’t respond to or cannot be given conventional medical therapy.
Your doctor will instruct you on how to prepare and advise you on any changes to your regular medication schedule and whether you should refrain from eating or drinking before your procedure. Tell your doctor if there’s a possibility you are pregnant and discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, allergies and medications you’re taking. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. Plan to have someone drive you home afterward.
What is Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement and Removal ?
In an inferior vena cava filter placement procedure, interventional radiologists use image guidance to place a filter in the inferior vena cava (IVC), the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart.
Blood clots that develop in the veins of the leg or pelvis, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), occasionally break up and large pieces of the clot can travel to the lungs. An IVC filter is a small metal device that traps large clot fragments and prevents them from traveling through the vena cava vein to the heart and lungs, where they could cause severe complications such as pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or even death.
Until recently, IVC filters were available only as permanently implanted devices. Newer filters, called optionally retrievable filters, may be left in place permanently or have the option to potentially be removed from the blood vessel later. This removal may be performed when the risk of clot travelling to the lung has passed. Removal of an IVC filter eliminates any long term risks of having the filter in place such as filter fracture or recurrent DVT. It does not address the cause of the deep vein thrombosis or coagulation. Your referring physician will determine if blood thinners are still necessary. However, not all retrievable IVC filters are able to be retrieved if the risk of clots traveling to the lung persists. These filters can be left in place as permanent filters.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are placed in patients who have a history of or are at risk of developing blood clots in the legs, including patients:
- diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- with pulmonary embolus.
- who are trauma victims.
- who are immobile.
- who have recently had surgery or delivered a baby.
IVC filters are used when patients cannot be successfully treated by other methods, including blood thinning agents
How should I prepare?
Prior to your procedure, your blood may be tested to determine how well your kidneys are functioning and whether your blood clots normally.
You should report to your doctor all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to local anesthetic medications, general anesthesia or to contrast materials containing iodine (sometimes referred to as "dye" or "x-ray dye"). Your physician may advise you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or blood thinners for a specified period of time before your procedure.
Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby
You should eat a light meal the night before your procedure.
You will likely be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your procedure. Your doctor will tell you which medications you may take in the morning.
You may be allowed to drink clear liquids on the day of your procedure.
If you are diabetic and take insulin, you should receive instructions on eating and insulin dose from the interventional radiologist, as your usual insulin dose may need to be adjusted on the day of the procedure.
You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.
You should plan to have a relative or friend drive you home after your procedure.