When to get an IVC Filter
Date: 2020-02-16 14:11:59
In a minimally invasive 15-minute procedure this tiny device can prevent a blood clot from traveling to the lungs. “An IVC filter is an intravascular device, so it’s an inverted umbrella that goes in the big vein in the belly, and the purpose is to prevent big clots from your legs from going up to your lung arteries,” explained Dr. Nakhil Rajadhyaksha, an interventional radiologist with Lee Health.
Patients who have deep vein thrombosis, who recently had surgery, or who have cancer are at a higher risk for developing blood clots.
Patients who don’t qualify for blood thinners could qualify for a temporary IVC filter. Typically, the device stays in the belly vein up to three months. “There’s a hook at the tip of the filter so whenever a patient does not need the filter anymore, we can actually go in from the neck vein and put a little lasso around that hook and pull it out,” he said.
The device is designed to catch multiple blood clots and prevent them from traveling. “If a clot goes up from the legs into the lungs, there’s a risk for potential death just because it can cut off the blood supply to the lungs, it can cause arrhythmias, and it can cause long term consequences, in terms of pulmonary hypertension,” Dr. Rajadhyaksha said.
Making it important to notice signs like pain, redness and swelling in the legs—all could be signs that a patient has a blood clot and could need an IVC filter.
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