The Basics of What IVC Filters

How do IVC filter work?

The IVC filter is surgically implanted into the inferior vena cava which is the largest vein in the human body and it traps clots moving in the direction of the heart. This particular vein carries the blood fromthe legs towards the heart &lungs. Sincemost blood clots form either in the pelvis area or legs, this filter is positioned in such a manner that it stops the movement of those clots towards the heart and is implanted just below the kidneys, in the inferior vena cava.

The filter is conical in shape and its narrow end faces downstream; this means all the blood in that vein has to first move through the filter in this narrow end. While the blood flows through freely, the blood clots become caught in the device. The clot continues to sit there until the anticoagulants in the blood eventually break it down.

IVC filters- different types

The two main types of inferior vena cava filters are:

Blood clot filter side effects

Over the years, the FDA has received a large number of reports of adverse events that state various complications related to the use of IVC filters, such as:

A number of studies and research have been conducted on blood clot filter side effects over the years. The FDA also determined that all the events that have been describedin the medical reports submitted to them, might not have occurred at all if these filters had been removedmuch sooner.

The agency has also ordered manufacturers of these devices to collect more comprehensive data related to the use of these filters in patients. The objective is to get more clarity about blood clot filter side effects and the safety of the IVC filters.