What Is an IVC Implant?

An IVC implant is a medical procedure done to place a filter device in the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava is a vein located at the lower part of the body that carries blood to the heart. When there is a blood clot in the veins of the pelvis and leg, it can travel to the lungs and may cause a blockage or pulmonary embolism. 

Pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot, also known as a thrombus, lodges itself in an artery in the lung and prevents blood flow to the lungs. Pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot that starts from the venous system of the lower parts of the body. However, it rarely originates from the renal, pelvic, upper extremity veins, or even the right chambers.

An IVC implant or filter is a metal device that is small and designed to filter large blood clots and prevent them from getting to the lungs and heart. The IVC implant follows a minimally invasive technique used by doctors to embed the IVC filter into the inferior vena cava.

As helpful as IVC filters are, there have been several lawsuits on the grounds of defects. If you find yourself with a defective IVC filter, contact our mass tort attorneys to learn your legal options.

What Are the Common Reasons for the IVC Implant Procedure?

Doctors usually opt for the IVC implant when patients cannot be treated successfully by other methods, including blood thinners. They also use it to help patients who were either recently involved in accidents or recovering from surgeries. They do that to prevent lung clots that could potentially be fatal.

Other common reasons for the IVC implant include:

  • If the patient has a history or has a risk of developing blood clots in the leg.
  • For patients who have a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Patients who are immobile or are trauma victims
  • If the patient has a pulmonary embolism.

IVC implants could be permanent or temporary. It depends on why you’re having the procedure first and the diagnosis from your health provider.

How To Prepare for the Procedure

When you are to get an IVC implant, there are certain precautions you have to take to get the best outcome.

  • Before you have the procedure done, get tested to determine the functionality of your kidneys. Also, your blood will get examined to decide whether or not they usually clot.
  • Inform your doctor of any recent illnesses.
  • Tell your medical provider of any pre-existing medical conditions so that the necessary precautions would get taken.
  • Your doctor should know the medications you’re currently taking, including herbal supplements.
  • Inform your medical provider of any known medical allergies. Especially ones that impede general anesthesia, local anesthesia, or contrast materials.
  • If you are pregnant or still breastfeeding a child,  you should inform your doctor.  Such information, when provided, guides the medical team on precautions to take to protect the fetus.
  • If you are taking insulin due to a diabetic condition, an interventional radiologist will give you instructions on what to eat and your insulin dosage. Your insulin dose may likely get adjusted on the day of the procedure.
  • You may get asked to undress fully or partially and wear a gown for the procedure.
  • Objects like jewelry, eyeglasses, or metal ornaments on your body that may interfere with the x-ray are not allowed.

It would help if you had someone who can drive you home after the procedure, as it is an outpatient procedure.

Potential Risks to IVC Implant

Any medical procedure that requires body invasion comes with its risks. Despite being a minimally invasive technique, the IVC implant has some risks that may arise. These risks include the following:

  • The risk of allergic reactions from contrast materials when injected.
  • Potential damage to the blood vessels.
  • Infection, bruising, or bleeding of the puncture site or fracture of the filter.
  • Migration of implant to the heart or lungs has a potential threat of death or perforation of a vein.
  • In rare cases, the retrievable filters can become scarred to the veins and cannot get taken out.
  • The IVC filter can become filled with clots or blocked, preventing blood flow, thereby causing clotting.

Get Help if Your IVC Implant Fails or You Have Side Effects

The fact that there could be complications from a minimal invasion procedure can cause anxiety. If you get complications from medical negligence, you deserve to be well represented. Talk to our team of attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel today to know what to do if your IVC implant develops complications from medical negligence. We offer free consultations.