The inferior vena cava (IVC) is a large vein in the middle of the abdomen. The IVC returns blood from your lower body to your heart. IVC filters are small wire ‘baskets’ that are typically placed temporarily to prevent large blood clots from reaching your lungs. A blood clot that reaches the lung is called a pulmonary embolism (PE) and can be life-threatening.
When you come in to be treated, your doctor will talk with you about your medical history and perform any necessary diagnostic testing. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for the procedure, the next step is treatment. IVC filters are used when patients cannot be successfully treated by other methods, including blood thinning medications.
Inferior vena cava filters are commonly placed in patients that have a history or are at risk of developing blood clots in the legs, including patients:
When you come in for your IVC filter placement, you will either have local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia – whatever you and your interventional radiologist (IR) have discussed prior to the procedure. Your IR will make a small incision in your groin or neck. Using image guidance and contrast dye a catheter will be passed through the incision into a major blood vessel until it reaches the inferior vena cava. A collapsed IVC filter will be delivered through the catheter to the desired location. Once in place, the filter will be deployed. The catheter will then be removed and pressure will be applied to the site for about 10 minutes to prevent bleeding.
Removal of an IVC filter is possible for about 80% of people. To remove an IVC filter, a special catheter is inserted into a large vein in the neck or groin and advanced to the site of the filter in the vena cava using image guidance. A removable IVC filter has a small hook or knob at one end that enables the catheter to capture the filter and pull it into the catheter and withdraw it from the body.
When a filter can not be removed, it is typically due to the following:
Placement/removal of an IVC filter is usually performed as an outpatient procedure typically lasts less than an hour. After the procedure, you will rest in a recovery area for a while before you are sent home. Most patients are able to return to normal activity levels in about 48 hours. Call you doctor if you experience any of the following:
IVC filter placement is a very safe procedure. Major complications occur in less than 1% of patients and are often a result of the filter filling with blood clots, moving (migrating), or breaking. The most common problem is minor bleeding at the site.
Inferior vena cava filters have a high rate of success in protecting lungs from serious pulmonary embolus in patients who have failed conventional medical therapy or cannot be given conventional medical therapy.
Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for an IVC filter. But if you are at risk of developing blood clots in the legs, an IVC filter may be an option. Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
This is for Dr. Pfister. I just wanted to thank him for all the time he spent with us the other week. In all the years I’ve had my vascular problems I’ve never had a doctor really sit down and explain to me the intricacies of what might be going on. I have a lot to think about…but just wanted to say thanks for being so nice and answering our many questions!L.H.
A fantastic group of wonderful people. The procedure was very smooth. When they were putting the port in I felt like I was getting a great massage!! Thank you all!S.C.
Charley was instrumental in getting me scheduled in quickly to get my PICC line removed. She actually worked until late in the day to get the information from my referring doctor’s office. It is nice to know great people like Charley still exist in this world!K.S.
I had my blood clot filter removed on 2/21/18. I was very apprehensive, yet EVERYONE in Dr. Pfister’s office and surgical team helped to make me comfortable. I am extremely claustrophobic so laying down or having something covering my face creates anxiety. Mary Anne listened to my concerns and made sure I was made comfortable and did not feel anxious. The surgical team was amazing, they explained everything thoroughly. Dr. Pfister came in after the procedure to review what he did and discuss any follow up that might be required. I so appreciate the time and attention he gives me as his patient. This was a positive experience.G.H.
110% Thank You! Best unit so far in my cancer treatment. Thanks Dr. LoveAnonymous
If you ever need an Interventional Radiologist for a child I realize it is serious business. I’ve seen Dr. Love go and save a child’s kidney without missing a beat. I could recommend no one better for myself, or for people I love. I think he is a little cool at the bedside, but that’s OK Dr. Love, stay frosty! If you can’t see Dr. Love, one of the other professionals at IVC will be able to help you. Ashley, the dynamite scheduler and one of the other surgeons at IVC will care for you. I’ve had multiple surgeries with this practice over the past several years. Never a hiccup!S. R. – Portland, OR
Great experience, doctor was thorough in explaining what was going to happen. The nurses were very attentive and made sure I was comfortable and my needs were met. I would recommend this office for any related procedure.Anonymous
Everything went very smoothly. Joe enjoyed the music. Very friendly staff! Good Experience!J. & E.
All staff was courteous and efficient. Good experience.J. J.
Dr. Pfister, thanks so much for your excellent care, removing my chemo port earlier this week. With all your experience and your fine touch, I’m confident the scar will be nearly invisible. Your team, from beginning to end, did a super job with me. Please extend my gratitude to Jennifer, Mary Anne, Todd and Charley. I’ve got a whole lot of living left to do. I appreciate all of you helping me do it!M. F.
Dr. Pfister, thank you for all of the attention you gave to me. I learned lots from our discussion – hearing you speak of ultimate healing was enough to encourage me to do all I can to strengthen those muscles.S. O.
The entire office is one of the most professional, helpful and informative medical offices I have dealt with (and I have dealt with many). Kudos to Jennifer, Henry, and Charley!K. C.
Great people. Great place. Good surgery.G. G.
Patty, Mary Anne and the whole staff was amazing! Best experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with cancer. From start to finish, was great. Thanks.M
My brother came into Legacy Meridian Park, had a stroke. Dr. Bauer came in immediately, in his work jeans and shirt. He worked with Neurologist Dr. Burbank, developed a plan and took my brother into a procedure where they removed the clot from his head! Very down to earth doctor, explained procedure to family, worked with sense of urgency.J. P.
I want to comment regarding Dr. Bauer of how he was thorough explaining my CT Biopsy and showing me how on the computer he would get the tissue needed. In all the years of several surgeries I have never felt better going in to have a procedure done. His bedside manner was incredible. I wish all doctors were like Dr. Bauer. Thank you for preparing and relaxing me prior to the biopsy.R.S. Molalla OR
Everyone did a superb job taking care of me and doing the procedure. Thank You AllK.S.
Dr. Bauer genuinely cares about his patients and strives to make sure they understand every aspect of their treatment.A. L.
Dr. Bauer, our family wants you to know how thankful we are to you for saving G.P.’s life and bringing him back to us in normal health. Thank you over and over you are the best!Family of G. P.