Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter

Doctors may place a filter into the patient’s Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) blood vessel to capture blood clots that may move from a patient’s legs to the lungs, causing breathing problems. Filters are often placed in a patient’s IVC prior to surgery. The filter can be removed later, when it is no longer needed.

The IVC filter can be inserted into the patient through a large vein at the top of the leg. A catheter is placed into the IVC (inferior Vena Cava) and contrast dye injected to identify the proper location for the filter. The filter is then put in place through the catheter and expanded in place.

Placement of an IVC filter is an almost painless procedure. Most patients go home the same day, and can return to their normal activities the next day.

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