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The new age IVC Filters: Functions, Uses, and Types of Filter Complications

The new age IVC Filters: Functions, Uses, and Types of Filter Complications

IVC Filters are instrumental in recovering people from surgeries or accidents. It prevents individuals from fatal lung clots. Doctors place the device inside the inferior vena cava of the patient. The inferior vena cava is a primary vein that brings back blood from the lower back of the body to the heart. The device looks like a metal cage. So, when there are blood clots in the patient’s legs, called DVT (Deep vein thrombosis), IVC Filters captures the clot as they break and move to the heart.

Usually, the IVC Filters gets implanted in individuals suffering from a pulmonary embolism, where anticoagulants are not sufficient.

The way IVC Filters function

The inferior vena cava is the longest vein in our body. It transfers de-oxygenated blood from our lower legs to our heart and then to the lungs again. Doctors use a thin tube or a catheter to insert the device into an individual’s inferior vena cava. It gets done through a minor incision in the patients’ groin or neck. The device with its metal wires encloses the blood clots before they can enter the lung. Do you want to know more on IVC Filter uses? If yes, you can browse through resources like and others to gather informative facts.

When do doctors use IVC Filters?

There are certain circumstances when doctors suggest the use of an IVC Filter. They are:

  • Fatal car accidents
  • Any serious falls
  • Emergency/voluntary surgeries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dialysis treatment
  • Stabbing wounds
  • The patients who just delivered a baby
  • Cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Patients who cannot move

Complications with IVC Filters

When you are using IVC Filters, it’s essential to know about its complexities. These filters can migrate away from the position it is placed surgically. It makes the device entirely ineffective. There are times when the device punctures a vein. It results in bleeding and many other complications. The broken filter pieces move through the blood and can enter the heart and lungs. It’s the retrievable filters that pose the risk of destroying veins. It can’t stop blood clots as well.

The IVC Filter complexities usually come under three categories. They are as follows:

Procedural complications

It happens when the doctors implant the filter device. The difficulties comprise of:

  • Blood vessel puncture
  • Bleeding or bruising of the access site
  • Ineffective filter implementation
  • Incorrect Filter placement

Retrievable complications

It happens when the doctors remove the filters. The complexities comprise of:

  • Perforation of blood vessels
  • Prominent clot formation in the device that averts removal
  • Resulting in vein scars that stops the removal
  • Complex retrieval that leads to prolonged surgeries

Delayed complications

It takes place after the filter gets placed inside the body. The difficulties comprise of:

  • Filter breakage
  • Shifting to any other part of the vena cava, the heart or any other organs
  • Blood clotting in legs
  • Any device infection
  • Perforated organs
  • Embolization
  • Any blockage that leads to leg swelling

Though it’s true that the IVC Filters gets built with the ultimate objective of preventing people from blood clots, the device might lead to specific complications. That doesn’t take away from the benefits these filters bring. However, knowing the complexities, its types and signs equip us better to deal with the situ


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