Complex IVC Filter Complications & Removal | MedStar Health

Retrieving a device that has penetrated the vessel wall or become embedded within it

The inferior vena cava (IVC) is a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart. If a blood clot known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) forms, it can break free and travel to your lungs via the IVC. An IVC filter is a small wire device that can be placed in the IVC to catch blood clots and prevent a pulmonary embolism.

IVC filters are meant to be removed once they are no longer needed. A potential complication associated with these filters, especially when they are left in place longer than required, is that the wire tip of the filter can become embedded in the vessel wall or penetrate through the IVC and into surrounding structures.

Removing a tip-embedded filter is a delicate procedure because an incomplete or failed retrieval can result in additional damage. The specialists in our heart and vascular program are experienced in safely removing such devices with minimally invasive techniques.


Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.

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MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

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