A vena cava filter helps prevent blood clots from travelling to the lungs and heart, where they may block blood flow.
Your doctor removes the filter using a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. This goes into your vein. A removable filter has a small hook on it. The doctor can use the hook to help pull the filter out of the vein.
A filter may be taken out because it can cause problems if you have one for a long time. It can break or become blocked with one or more blood clots. This can be serious.
Most people go home a few hours after the procedure. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in a day or two.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: March 23, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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