Weight Loss with Increased Fullness.
Welcome ActiLean Visitor to Health Education on the Internet

Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement

 What is inferior vena cava filter placement?
 When is it used?
 How do I prepare for the procedure?
 What happens during the procedure?
 What happens after the procedure?
 What are the risks of this procedure?

Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement: Illustration
Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement: IllustrationClick here to view a full size picture.

What is inferior vena cava filter placement?

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placement is a procedure used to put a small filter in your inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava is a large vein in your abdomen that carries blood from your body back to your heart. The filter is a tiny cone-shaped metal net that can trap blood clots.

When is it used?

A blood clot can block an artery in your lungs, which can be a life-threatening problem. If you cannot take an anticoagulant (blood thinner) medicine to slow clot formation or taking one has not worked well enough, you may need IVC filter placement. The filter does not stop clots from forming, but it can keep clots from reaching your lungs.

You may need this procedure if:

How do I prepare for the procedure?

What happens during the procedure?

This procedure is usually done at the hospital.

You will be given medicine to help you relax, but you will be awake during the procedure. You will also be given a shot of anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted.

Your healthcare provider will put a small tube called a catheter through your skin and into a blood vessel in your groin, arm, or neck. Ultrasound or X-rays will be used to see the catheter and guide it to the right place in your vein. Contrast dye may be injected through the catheter to help your provider see the blood vessels with X-rays.

After the IVC filter is inserted into the inferior vena cava through the catheter, the catheter will be removed. At the end of the procedure, your healthcare provider will put pressure on the area where the catheter was inserted (the puncture site) to control any bleeding.

What happens after the procedure?

After the procedure you may stay in a recovery area for at least a few hours to make sure the puncture site is not bleeding. The puncture site may be bruised and sore for a few days.

Ask your healthcare provider:

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Some IVC filters are permanent and some are temporary. If the filter is temporary, you will have another procedure to remove it at a later time.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:

Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

healthinformatics info


Athanasoulis, CA, Kaufman, JA, Halpern, EF, et al. Inferior vena caval filters: Review of a 26-year single-center clinical experience. Radiology 2000; 216:54.

Baglin, TP, Brush, J, Streiff, M. Guidelines on use of vena cava filters. Br J Haematol 2006; 134:590.

Eight-year follow-up of patients with permanent vena cava filters in the prevention of pulmonary embolism: the PREPIC (Prevention du Risque d'Embolie Pulmonaire par Interruption Cave) randomized study. Circulation 2005; 112:416.

Drugs.com care notes (n.d.) Inferior vena cava filter placement. Truven Health Analytics. Retrieved 10/07/2014 from http://www.drugs.com/cg/inferior-vena-cava-filter-placement.html.

Raju, S, Hollis, K, Neglen, P. Obstructive lesions of the inferior vena cava: clinical features and endovenous treatment. J Vasc Surg 2006; 44:820.

Rogers, NA, Nguyen, L, Minniefield, NE, et al. Fracture and embolization of an inferior vena cava filter strut leading to cardiac tamponade. Circulation 2009; 119:2535.

Related Topics

Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Heart Catheterization

Pulmonary Embolism

divider line

Last Modified: 2015-01-21

Last Reviewed: 2015-01-20

Website Updated: August 2015

Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth. © 2014 RelayHealth and/or one of its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

divider line

Return to:

A button for the link to the top level index page for this topic area.

A button for the link to the top level home page.

Legal Notice: Use of these Health Education Materials signifies your agreement to the enclosed ("linked") terms. If you do not agree to all of these terms and conditions of use, do not use this site.

COPYRIGHT © 1996-2010 and patented technologies ((U.S. patents 6,374,274, 6,839,881, and pending patents) ) HEALTH INFORMATICS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
All Rights Reserved.