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Patient Instructions

  • Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter

Patient Instructions - Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter

An IVC filter is placed to capture any blood clots traveling from the lower extremities toward the lungs that may cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism can be a life threatening condition.

Before your procedure

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.

  • If you are on IV heparin, your nurse will contact Interventional Radiology to determine if it needs to be held.

During your procedure

  • Sedation and pain medication is provided. A vein in the neck or in the groin may be used.

  • The skin is cleaned and then numbed.

  • The vein is accessed with a needle.

  • X-ray dye or contrast is injected to provide pictures of the veins. If you are allergic to X-ray dye or contrast, notify your doctor or nurse immediately.

  • A small tube is placed in the vein to pass the filter through to the correct position.

  • Once the filter is in place, pressure will be applied to the access site for 5-10 minutes to control bleeding from the site.

  • The procedure takes about 1 hour to complete.

After your procedure

  • You will need to rest quietly for the first 2-4 hours.

  • If the groin was accessed, you may need to be flat.

  • If the neck was accessed, keep the head elevated in bed. You will be monitored for bleeding at the access site.

  • If you have any questions, please discuss them with your doctor.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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