IVC Filter Placement/Removal

What is an IVC filter?

IVC stands for inferior vena cava, the large vein that joins the two main veins within each leg that return blood to the heart and lungs. When a blood clot is found within the veins of the legs, an IVC filter is a special device that may be placed in the inferior vena cava to “catch” and break up blood clots before they can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. An IVC filter will likely need to be removed at a future date, once the danger of a blood clot traveling to the lungs is gone. It is most often recommended when medications intended to break up a clot have not been effective.

IVC Filter Placement/Removal - Memphis

The IVC filter placement/removal procedure

The interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a catheter into the inferior vena cava. The filter is carried within the catheter, which is placed within the vein and expanded to fill the circumference of the vein. The injection of a contrast agent is often used to help find the ideal location to place the filter. The removal procedure is basically the same, in reverse. The IVC filter is located, collapsed and removed from the body through the catheter.

The procedure is very safe and effective at protecting patients from a pulmonary embolism. However, an IVC filter should be monitored and removed once the danger has passed. Left within the body, the IVC filter can move or fracture within the vein. Memphis Vascular interventional radiologists are experienced in the complex retrieval of fractured and embedded IVC filters.

Contact us at 901-683-1890 for more information.
Or schedule an appointment online HERE.

Skip to content