DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, is a serious condition in which blood clots develop in the deep veins, most often in the legs. In some cases, these clots dislodge and travel to the lungs, causing severe shortness of breath or an event called a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. The Vascular Experts Florida has treatments to prevent such a serious event.
The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) is the largest vein in the body and it is responsible for returning blood from the lower extremities to the heart. By placing a filter in the IVC, Dr. Vargas can prevent any blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. Not all patients are ideal candidates for blood thinners, which prevent clot propagation and pulmonary embolism. This makes an IVC filter all the more important.
Using image guidance, Dr. Lina Vargas inserts a filter—a small metal device designed to trap large clot fragments—in the IVC through a catheter. Previous versions of IVC filters have been perpetual implants, but new technology has facilitated the creation of retrievable filters that may be left in enduringly but can be removed once the risk of clotting has passed.
Placement of an IVC filter is indicated in patients who have a diagnosis of DVT and cannot take blood-thinning medication due to elevated risk of bleeding or if they are scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure for which these medications would need to be stopped temporarily. This is especially true for patients with a prior history of DVT and pulmonary embolism as well as patients who are prone to developing clots.
In most patients, the indication for a filter is temporary and it is best to remove the filter once no longer needed. Following IVC filter placement The Vascular Experts Florida will stay in touch with you and your other physicians to determine if the filter can be removed in the future so you don’t have to worry about it.
The procedure takes less than an hour and is performed in The Vascular Experts Florida’s state-of-the-art facility. With guided imaging, a catheter is inserted through the neck or groin and advanced to the inferior vena cava. Contrast dye ensures proper positioning, and the filter itself is inserted. Once placed, the filter expands and latches onto the vessel wall. Blood flows properly through while clots cannot pass through the filter.
The procedure to retrieve or remove the filter is very similar to the placement and it is also performed in our state-of-the-art vascular laboratory.
If your IVC filter was inserted through a neck vein, you can return to normal activity within 24 hours. If your insertion point is the leg, you’ll need to avoid driving for 24 hours, and heavy lifting for 48 hours.
*Individual Results May Vary
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*Individual Results May Vary