Interventional radiologists use image guidance to place percutaneously a special filter in the inferior vena cava (IVC) Blood clots that develop in the veins of the leg or pelvis, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), occasionally break up and large pieces of the clot can travel to the lung IVC filter traps clot fragments and prevents pulmonary embolism
- Until recently, IVC filters were available only as permanent implanted devices
- Newer filters may be left in place permanently or have the option to be removed later
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are placed in patients who have an history of or are at risk of developing blood clots in the legs, including patients diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) such as patients with pulmonary embolus, or who are trauma victims or are immobile (recent surgery or delivery)
- IVC filters are indicated when patients cannot be successfully treated by other methods, including blood thinning agents.