IVC Filters and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
IVC Filters (also called IVCFs) are used to prevent blood clots in the legs or pelvis from travelling to the heart and lungs.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT for short is the medical term for blood clots in the legs and pelvis. Risk factors for developing DVT includes major surgery, trauma, genetic mutations, cancers, immobility and air travel. If large blood clots in the legs or pelvis break free, they can travel to the lungs and block blood flow. This can be very dangerous and even deadly.
The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) is the large vein in the abdomen that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. By placing a filter in the IVC, blood clots can be blocked from traveling to the lungs.
The filter is placed in the Vena Cava through a catheter that is inserted through a small incision in the neck or groin. An interventional radiologist will use imaging guidance to properly position the filter. Once in place, the filter is released and expands to attach to the walls of the vein. Many types of IVC filters can be removed once they are no longer needed.
Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy can also be used to treat massive DVT.
What to Expect
If you are having an IVC filter removed, you will first meet with an interventional radiologist to make sure removal is safe.
On the day of your procedure, you will come to the Aspirus Wausau Hospital. You will speak with your interventional radiologist before your procedure.The procedure takes about 1 hour. Special X-ray imaging equipment is used to guide IVC Filter placement and removal. You will go home the same day.
Schedule your IVC filter placement or removal. To have an IVC placed, you will need an order from your doctor.