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IVC Filter Placement & Removal Procedure

Heart Vascular and Leg Center -  - Vascular Specialist

Heart Vascular and Leg Center

Vascular Specialists & Cardiologists located in Bakersfield, CA

If you have a health problem that increases your risk of a pulmonary embolism, consider an IVC filter placement and removal procedure. At Heart Vascular and Leg Center in Bakersfield, California, board-certified cardiologist Vinod Kumar, MD, FACC, and his team provide IVC filter placement and removal as an outpatient procedure. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.

IVC Filter Placement & Removal Procedure Q & A

What is an IVC filter placement and removal procedure?

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An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement procedure involves your Heart Vascular and Leg Center provider surgically placing a filtering device within your IVC, a large vein in your abdomen that returns blood from the lower half of your body to your heart.

This procedure significantly lowers your risk of a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that develops in the veins of your legs. If the blood clot breaks away, it can clog your IVC and prevent blood from reaching your lungs and heart.

Depending on the condition treated, your provider might recommend a permanent or temporary filter. If the risk of a pulmonary embolism subsides, the team can perform a removal procedure sometime after placement.

How does IVC filter placement and removal work?

An IVC filter is a small metal device that captures large clot fragments, preventing them from traveling through your vena cava to your heart and lungs. 

To place your IVC filter, your Heart Vascular and Leg Center provider puts you under general anesthesia. Once the anesthesia takes effect, they insert a catheter into a large vein in your neck or upper leg, then guide the catheter to your vena cava.

Once positioned, your provider injects a contrast dye into the catheter, followed by the IVC filter. After releasing the filter, it expands and attaches to the walls of your blood vessel. Your provider uses ultrasound imaging to guide placement, ensuring it stays in the appropriate location.

The IVC removal process is very similar. Once your anesthesia takes effect, your provider inserts a catheter into a large vein in your neck or groin. Next, they advance the catheter to your vena cava and insert a small tool into the catheter with a small hook at the end. The tool enters the vena cava and connects to the IVC filter, causing the IVC filter to fold.

Afterward, your provider pulls the tool back through the catheter, withdrawing it from your body.

Why would I need an IVC filter placement and removal procedure?

You might benefit from an IVC filter placement and removal procedure if you have an underlying health problem that increases your risk of developing blood clots in your legs. 

The team at Heart Vascular and Leg Center regularly uses IVC filter placement and removal to treat:

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary embolus
  • Trauma victims
  • Immobile or disabled patients

You might also benefit from IVC filter placement and removal if you can’t take prescription blood thinners. 

To learn more about an IVC filter placement and removal procedure, schedule an appointment at Heart Vascular and Leg Center. Call the office or book a consultation online today.