Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter
An IVC filter is a metallic filter that is placed in the vena cava to prevent blood clot to travel from the lower extremities to the heart and cause fatal pulmonary embolism. An IVC filter is used when there is a contraindication to anticoagulation or in conjunction to mechanical thrombectomy to prevent fatal pulmonary embolism.
Indications for IVC filters are:
- Contraindication to anticoagulation, i.e. history of bleeding.
- Development of DVT while on anticoagulation.
- Extensive or bilateral DVTs in the iliac veins or in the inferior vena cava.
- Patients with a high risk of developing fatal pulmonary embolism, i.e. patients who have severe respiratory compromise.
An IVC filter is placed in the inferior vena cava in a noninvasive fashion through an incision in the neck or the groin, which is 2 mm long. Most of the time, the patient is awake or slightly sedated for the procedure. The procedure is relatively painless. IVC filters have a small chance of causing thrombus in the vena cava if they are left indefinitely. Recently, removable IVC filters have been used, which can be removed at a later time when they are not needed any more. The removal process is also relatively noninvasive and done through a small 2-mm incision in the neck or the groin while the patient is slightly sedated.
DVT TREAMENT OPTIONS
ABOUT DR. MALEKMEHR
Dr. Farshad Malekmehr is a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon. He has a special interest in treating patients with DVT and pulmonary embolism. His education included an undergraduate study at UCLA and CSUN with honors degree. He subsequently received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC.