An IVC Filter, known as Inferior Vena Cava Filter or a type of filter known Greenfield Filter, is a small device that is implanted into the Inferior Vena Cava (a large blood vein in the abdomen) to prevent Pulmonary Embolism. In most cases, this comes from the embolism of blood clots in the deep veins in the legs, medically called Deep Vein Thrombosis. The IVC Filter practically catches blood clots, preventing them to reach the lungs.
When the IVC Filter is used
Anticoagulants are a group of pharmaceuticals that stop blood from clotting and are used as a medication in thrombotic patients. However, such medications don’t always work or have a small significant impact, depending on the condition. Additionally, they may cause complications to patients, making them impossible to be used as a treatment.
In the cases where medical substances can’t be used – medically called contraindication, an IVC Filter or Greenfield Filter is the best solution to prevent pulmonary embolism.
IVC Filter Placement
Recent designs have made placement of the IVC Filter much easier in contrast with the surgical solutions available in the past. Depending on the location of the blood clots, the catheter (thin tube) is inserted via the large vein in the groin (femoral vein), arm veins or the large neck vein (internal jugular vein). The catheter is guided to the Inferior Vena Cava by a fluoroscope or ultrasound, after which the Greenfield Filter is inserted and attached to the IVC walls.
IVC Filter Removal
Removal depends on the kind of used filter and condition. If the filter is permanent on patients with a risk of recurring thrombosis, it stays in the IVC and is not taken out. While recent designs of IVC Filters are temporary and have small hooks that can be used to be taken out.
IVC Filter Complications
Although filter designs and techniques have made risks quite low, complications still exist. Hemorrhage, damaged blood vessels or filter misplacement are known to have occurred during filter placement. In the minority of cases, long-term complications may be present with recurrent thrombosis, filter migration or caval occlusion.
Please continue reading the other articles throughout the site for more specific information on placement, removal, types, brands and complications of IVC Filters and Greenfield Filters.
Read on other articles of our site: