IVC Umbrella Filters for Blood Clots
Blood clots can be treated through a variety of methods. Medication is common, but medications do not work for everyone. One method is using an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, also known as umbrella filters for blood clots.
An IVC filter is an umbrella-shaped device that is implanted directly into the vein. It works as a “net” to catch blood clots before they reach vital organs, specifically the lungs. Generally, IVC filters are used in patients who do not tolerate medications to treat blood clots; medication is usually used as the first option.
The inferior vena cava is the main blood vessel that takes blood from the legs to the heart. It is placed in this vessel because many blood clots form in the legs and then travel upward. The IVC filter, sometimes referred to as an umbrella filter, is designed to be a short-term solution for those who have a high risk of pulmonary embolism.
Potential Problems with Umbrella Filters For Blood Clots
Over time, IVC filters become increasingly dangerous because they can break off or fracture, or move within the blood vein. They may also actually puncture the blood vessel, causing problems with internal bleeding. Additionally, these filters may increase the likelihood of developing a blood clot if left implanted too long.
IVC filters were once considered a permanent solution to blood clot problems, but doctors today are discovering that the longer these umbrella filters remain in the body, the more likely they are to cause serious health problems. The FDA recommends that IVC filters be removed one to three months after the serious risk of blood clots has decreased.
Umbrella Filter Removal
Umbrella filters can be difficult to remove, however. They may move and become more difficult to remove simply due to their new location. They may also become lodged in the blood vessel, which also makes them difficult to remove without causing damage to the vessel. Pieces may break off and travel to vital organs, which not only causes serious damage but makes removal virtually impossible in some situations.
Doctors should develop a plan to remove the umbrella filter as soon as they can after it has been implanted. They should also follow up with the patient regularly to ensure that the filter has not moved or caused other related problems. Any sign of a problem should trigger removal.
Getting Help if You Have Been Injured by an Umbrella Filter
If you have experienced negative side effects or health problems due to an IVC filter implant, you need to speak with a seasoned medical device malpractice attorney in your area right away. You can arrange a free consultation and case evaluation that is completely confidential. There is no obligation, so please contact one of our highly experienced umbrella filter attorneys in your area.