The inferior vena cava (IVC) is a large vein in the abdomen that takes blood from the lower part of the body back to the heart. IVC filters are small, wiry devices that attach themselves to the wall of the IVC and catch blood clots. IVC Filters are placed in the inferior vena cava in order to prevent blood clots from going up into the lungs and causing pulmonary embolism.

When would I need an IVC Filter?

An IVC filter may be needed if you have (or have had) a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism. It may also be needed if there is a high chance of getting a DVT. Some of the things that may increase the chances of getting a DVT include:

  • Conditions that may limit mobility like injuries, surgeries, or strokes
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer Treatments
  • Long periods of travel
  • Inherited blood disorders

In some cases blood-thinning medication can be used to treat people, however, in some cases it may cause excess bleeding so doctors recommend using the IVC Filter.

Are there any risks?

Like any other procedure, there are risks that come with getting an IVC Filter. Some of the risks include but are not limited to: damage to the blood vessel and bleeding or bruising or infection at the puncture site. There is also a chance that the filter may change position, penetrate through the vein, lodge in the wrong place, or may break loose and travel to the lungs or heart causing death or serious injuries.

Technology has advanced quite a bit the last few years, making it possible to retrieve some of the filters. However, retrievable filters may become scarred to the vein making it impossible to remove.

Are there some things that I should be looking for after the IVC filter is placed?

The answer is yes! Although it may seem like a quick procedure you should keep an eye out for the following:

  • Fluid leaking, redness, or warmth at the incision
  • Non-stop bleeding at the incision
  • Pain or swelling at the incision that gets worse
  • Nausea or headaches that don’t go away
  • Chest pain or fever
  • Numbness or coldness in your limbs

If you experience any of those it is crucial that you call your provider in order to take the necessary measures.

What information should I acquire before agreeing?

Before agreeing to a procedure, make sure to ask the doctor any questions that you may have regarding the device, procedure, or other things. For future reference, make sure to ask the type of IVC Filter used, the manufacturer, and the information for the doctors involved.

Contact Brooks Law Group

If you or a family member has suffered, or worse, due to a defective IVC filter please contact the defective medical device lawyers at Brooks Law Group today at 1-800-LAW-3030. Don’t let money stop you from allowing someone to take a look at your case and help you determine if you are entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Brooks Law Group work on a contingent base meaning that they don’t get paid until you get compensation.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.