IVC Filter Removal Guidelines
IVC filters are designed to prevent blood clots from traveling through the veins and entering the vital organs, particularly the lungs and heart. There are thousands of IVC filters in use today, and over half of these are considered “optional” placements. The market for IVC filters reached $181 billion in 2010 for sales in the United States alone.
Most IVC filters were technically designed to be a temporary solution to a blood clot threat. Once the threat is over, they are supposed to be removed. Unfortunately, some doctors have chosen to leave the filter implanted much longer than recommended, in part, because they mistakenly believe that leaving the device in is safe.
Leaving the device implanted for too long can complicated the removal process. The devices can break off, fracture, and even embed themselves into the wall of the vein. They can also puncture the vein, causing problems with internal bleeding, infection, and even death. These serious concerns are some of the many reasons that IVC filter removal guidelines are so important.
Techniques and Timing for Removing the IVC Filter
IVC filters come in two forms—permanent and retrievable filters. The long-term filters seem to have less complications than the retrievable filters, but risks still exist. According to some sources, retrievable filters should generally be removed after, at most, 17 months because that is when the fewest incidents occur. However, manufacturer recommendations often indicate that the filter should be removed much sooner.
IVC filters will reduce the risk of pulmonary emboli shortly after placement, but they can increase the risk of serious blood clots in the deep veins if they remain implanted too long. Unfortunately, patients routinely do not have retrievable filters removed as quickly as they should, which can cause seriously health problems.
There are two basic methods that doctors use to remove an IVC filter. The first is by using a kit that is provided by the IVC filter manufacturer. The other method is more of a “home grown” approach. Regardless of which approach your doctor uses, medical professionals are encouraging doctors to remove and take responsibility for IVC filters that they have implanted.
IVC Filter Guidelines from the American College of Radiology
Assuming that you have not already had complications with your IVC filter, the risks of removal are usually relatively low. The American College of Radiology uses specific guidelines for IVC removal. In particular, they recommend that the removal process happen within three to six month of implantation. Removal should occur as soon as the threat of pulmonary embolism has passed.
If you or a loved one has used an IVC filter and it has cause problems, you may have a medical device lawsuit. You may be able to receive compensation that covers medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call 877-810-4067 for more information or use our contact form and we will get in touch with you.