The inferior vena cava is a large vein located in the abdomen. Accumulation of plaque in this important part of the body requires the implantation of a device called an inferior vena cava (IVC) filer. The implantation requires a short period of surgery, which makes it an invasive procedure. A team of radiologists refer to images of the inferior vena cava to ensure the abdomen returns oxygen deprived blood to the heart.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING INFERIOR CAVA FILTER PLACEMENT?
By using imaging guidance, Dr. Chadda inserts a catheter into one of the large veins located in the neck or thigh area of the leg. From there, we move the catheter to the inferior vena cava to place the IVC filter. After finding the perfect position for placement, Dr, Chadda releases the PVC filter to expand completely into the vein walls. Although placing an IVC filter is considered a non-invasive medical procedure, you should consider allowing only a highly trained interventional radiologist to perform an IVC filter placement inside of an interventional radiology room.
During the placement of an IVC filter, you can expect to spend the entire time lying on your back. Machines monitoring your pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure ensure your vital signs remain stable throughout the medical procedure. One of Dr. Chadda’s accomplished nurses or technicians will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your hand to deliver a sedative, if one is required to keep you relaxed.
Some of the common types of medical conditions that require the implantation of an IVC include the following patients:
- Trauma victims
- Suffer from pulmonary embolus
- Diagnosed with DVT
- Underwent recent surgery
- Delivered a baby
RETRIEVAL OF AN IVC FILTER
For years, IVC filters were devices permanently implanted in a large abdomen vein. However, recent technological breakthroughs have created IVC filters that give surgeons such as Dr. Chadda the option to leave the filters in place permanently or remove the filters after a large abdomen vein has healed.
We have worked with the new and improved IVC filters and when the threat of a blood clot traveling from the abdomen to the heart has passed, we might recommend the retrieval of the IVC. If venous stenting has eliminated the need for you to use blood thinners to encourage blood flow, you might be eligible for IVC retrieval as well.
The retrieval of an IVC filter accomplishes two medical goals. First, it alleviates any pain or soreness you experience because of the catheter insertion and/or the placement of the IIVC filter. Second, removing an IVC filter prevents the filter from breaking into pieces that flow into the bloodstream. However, Dr. Chadda will remind you that not all IVC filters are retrievable and you should wait until after the procedure to find out if he wants to remove the filter at a future date.
OVERVIEW OF THE EQUIPMENT USED FOR IVC FILTER PLACEMENT AND RETRIEVAL
With a diameter around 1/8 of an inch, a catheter threads through the skin until it reaches the diseased vein or veins. Other equipment used to perform an examination of the abdomen veins include a radiographic table, one or two x-ray tubes, and a television monitor located close to Dr. Chadda and his team of skilled nurses and technicians. The television monitor is typically suspended over the table where you will lie down.
Ultrasound equipment consists of a computer, a video display screen, and a transducer that performs scanning of the abdomen veins. A transducer looks like a microphone and it attaches to the scanner by the use of a cord. Transducers deliver high-frequency audio waves into the body and it waits to record the echoes caused by the sound waves. The scientific principle is similar to the sonar devices deployed by ship captains to detect the presence of life beneath a vessel.
A blood clot that forms near the heart or lungs is a serious medical condition that requires immediate intervention. Meet with our team of cardiovascular specialists to determine if IVC placement and retrieval is a procedure you need done to regenerate normal blood flow from your abdomen to the heart.