By placing a filter in the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of your body up to your heart for reoxygenation, medical professionals can stop blood clots from moving along that vein. A filter in your inferior vena cava (IVC) can save your life by preventing a blood clot from moving into your lungs, which could result in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
That said, just because you had an IVC filter placed doesn’t mean you should live the rest of your life with it. In many cases, the time comes when your best option is to have the filter removed.
And doing so can be easier than you might expect. The expert providers at Vascular & Interventional Associates offer minimally invasive IVC filter removal to patients throughout Northern Kentucky and in Cincinnati, Ohio, from our office in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
How do you know if you should have your IVC filter removed? Our team can help you decide, and you can also use this guide to start exploring your options.
When IVC filter removal makes sense
The IVC filter fills a very specific role: stopping blood clots from moving up your IVC. But if the time comes when your risk for blood clots has passed, the filter becomes purposeless.
At that point, medical experts recommend removing the IVC filter. Left in place, there’s a risk the filter could migrate or fracture, causing you discomfort.
Additionally, leaving the filter in place when it’s no longer needed increases the risk of blood clots in your lower body, the very thing it was placed to address.
What to expect with IVC filter removal
If you want your IVC filter removed, one of our surgeons at Vascular & Interventional Associates can perform the procedure right here at our state-of-the-art interventional radiology lab. What’s more, we can perform an imaging study here beforehand to confirm that IVC filter removal best serves you.
If so, we use minimally invasive techniques and moderate sedation to remove your IVC filter. That makes your procedure an outpatient one so you can return home to recover the same day.
Many people report feeling some fatigue and mild discomfort at the surgery site after their procedure, but most return to work or their usual activities within a day or two. All told, IVC filter removal can be a quick, convenient way to lessen your risk of unwanted complications down the road.
Are you living with an IVC filter? Feel free to call Vascular & Interventional Associates or book your appointment with us online. We can help you decide if it’s time to remove your filter and, if so, can perform the procedure for you.