Where do they put an IVC Filter?

The IVC filter is a small basket-like device inserted into a vein when there is a risk of blood clots going into the lungs from the lower parts of the body. The inferior vena cava filter is named after the inferior vena cava, which is the largest nerve in the human body. It is the nerve that is responsible for getting the de-oxygenated blood from the lower part of our bodies. We provide more information about what is an IVC filter in this article.

The blood goes up to the heart, and can make its way to the lungs. That is why the blood clots have a danger of going to the lungs, where they can cause fatal issues. The IVC filter is placed in that vein and attempts to remove those clumps of blood before they can get to the lungs.

Who gets these filters?

There are a number of patients who may be ideal candidates for the filters, in a doctor’s eyes. It is typically patients who are having such serious problems with blood clots that even blood thinning medicine is not helping. If the medication is not making enough of a difference, the doctor may recommend the filter. Trauma patients are at higher risk of blood clots, and they may be told to get the filter placed into their body until the risk can subside.

Placing the IVC filter in the body

It is very important to ensure that a proper doctor is putting in the IVC filter into your body. There are far too many cases where someone inexperienced did not put the filter into the vein in the right way, and serious complications resulted.

The objective is to make a small incision in the inferior vena cava vein, either in the neck or the groin, and then put a catheter through that incision. This thin tube is going to help transport the filter to the location where the doctor wants it to reside. When the filter is in place, the catheter can be removed and everything is done. The filter will then expand and it will attach to the walls of the vein. Some of these filters can remain in place permanently, while others are recommended for removal between 29 to 54 days after they are put in to the body.

Complications from insertion

The IVC filter is not without complications and issues. So many patients have reported issues with the filter when it is in the body. One of the bigger problems with the filter is that it even causes issues when it is being put into the body. There is a chance of access site bleeding and bruising, while a blood vessel puncture is also a possibility. The filter could be placed in the wrong area, which can cause problems later. It is also possible that the filter is deployed defectively, which means it will not increase in size and properly attach itself to the IVC.

Patients who experience complications with the IVC filter can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer – if it is the design and performance of the filter that were the problems.