The inferior vena cava (IVC) is the largest vein in your body. It carries blood from your legs to your heart and lungs.
Blood clots can block your normal blood flow, if these clots travel to your lungs this can create problems with breathing
Blood clots are often treated with blood thinners but some people are not be able to receive this treatment. In such cases, an IVC filter may be placed.
An IVC filter is a small device that is placed in your IVC to prevent clots from moving through your blood into your lungs (see Figure).
Your interventional radiologist will place the IVC filter through a vein in your neck or groin using a fluoroscopy (video x-rays). The procedure will take about 30 minutes, but you should expect to be in the procedure room for about an hour. You’ll have a follow-up appointment 4 to 6 weeks after placement to see when your IVC filter can be removed.
Before your procedure
Before the procedure, you will have an IV line placed in your arm. You may get medication through your IV that will make you feel drowsy. The medication will control pain and anxiety.
During your procedure
The area where the vein will be accessed will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic (lidocaine/novocaine). Access to a vein at base of your neck or in your groin will be obtained. The access site will be covered with a sterile bandage or with surgical glue called Dermabond®.
After your procedure
You will stay in our recover area for approximately 1 hour to make sure you are fully awake and feeling well following the procedure.
You may have some discomfort at at the access site. This should get better in 24 to 48 hours. You can take over-the-counter pain medication if you need it. Most people don’t need any pain medication.
Caring for your access site
Do not get the area wet for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can shower, but should still avoid getting the site wet. You should not take a bath or swim for at least 5 days.
Don’t pick or scratch the Dermabond. It will come off on its own.
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