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An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is used to catch large venous blood clots before they reach the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). Sometimes the IVC filter is called a “Greenfield filter.”
PE is often caused by a blood clot in the legs, called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT can break loose and travel through a large vein called the vena cava, before circulating into the heart and to the lungs. PE can be life threatening if it stops blood flow to the lungs.
You may need an IVC filter if you have a history of DVTs or PE. An IVC filter placed in a segment of the vena cava below the heart can catch large clots before they reach the heart and get pumped into the lungs. With time, your body’s natural anticoagulants break down the trapped clots.
Older IVC filters were considered permanent, but newer filters can be placed and later removed making them suitable for temporary use in people at high risk for developing blood clots.
If your body does not respond to or tolerate other blood clot therapies, you may be a good candidate for an inferior vena cava filter in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV. To learn more about this procedure and if you are a candidate, find a St. Rose Dominican hospitals cardiologist or cardiac surgeon or call us at (702) 616-4900.
IVC filter placement is a minimally invasive catheter-based procedure. An interventional cardiologist makes a small incision in your groin to access a large vein and inserts a catheter that holds the tiny filter. The cardiologist uses X-ray imaging to navigate the catheter and filter to the inferior vena cava, then releases the filter and removes the catheter. The IVC filter will fan out to span the inside of the vein.
IVC filter placement is considered a safe procedure, and the life-saving benefits often outweigh the risks associated with the procedure.
After your procedure, you will spend some time in a recovery area. The care team will monitor the incision site and give you instructions for home care. Most people quickly recover from IVC filter placement with little pain.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals performs interventional procedures like an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.