IVC Filter Retrieval
There are several reasons someone may need a retrievable filter placed. These include patients with temporary increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clot formation in the veins of the legs, or pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot that travels to your lungs. These risks include problems with your blood clotting, after trauma such as a head injury or a fractured pelvis, after certain surgeries, or any event or medical condition that would decrease your activity.
In most cases blood thinning medications or anticoagulants are given to prevent further clots from forming after an initial clot has been identified in your body. If you have had recent surgery, trauma, a bleeding disorder, or you have developed a clot while on one of these medications an IVC filter may have been placed. Occasionally, patients that have a history of DVT and PE have retrievable filters placed before having surgery and removed shortly afterwards.
Retrievable filters are placed when the condition that led to the filter placement is not permanent. In these cases once you recover you will either be active again, no longer at risk for clots, or you will be able to take blood thinning medications to prevent clots in the future.
If you received a retrievable filter the interventional radiologist and nurse coordinator from the IVC Filter Clinic will follow you after its placement. He/she will be in contact with your primary doctor and together they will decide when it is appropriate to have the filter removed.
Removal of the filter is done as an outpatient, same day procedure.
The risks listed here are rare. Discuss with your doctor your concerns. Medications can be provided if needed to help prevent or relieve any pain from the procedure.