Inferior Vena Cava Filter Market:
Inferior Vena Cava Filter (IVC) is the largest vein in the abdomen that returns the deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. In some cases, where the patient is going through major surgery, there are chances of blood clot formation in the veins of the pelvis and legs that may further travel to the lungs. This may lead to serious life-threatening conditions like a blockage or pulmonary embolism. Hence, to counter this situation, IVC filter is used under the guidance of a radiologist to dissolve the blood clots naturally.
Inferior Vena Cava Filter is small, cage-like devices that are designed so that it can fit inside the Inferior Vena Cava. The filters catch and hold the blood clots and thus allow them to dissolve naturally. Older IVC filters were designed in such a way that they can be left in the veins permanently. However, the newer designs known as retrievable IVC filters are removed once the danger of clotting is over.
How are these IVC filters removed?
The removal procedure is the same as that of implantation. Contrast or an X-ray dye is injected around the IVC filter in order to safely proceed with the removal procedure. The filter has the hook at its end and a catheter-like snare is inserted into the vein to grab the hook. A sheath covers the filter, thus collapsing its legs which are widely spread and releases its grip from the vein’s walls. The doctor then carefully pulls the catheter out of the vein which helps to bring the IVC filter out of the body.
Complications of IVC Filter removal
If a patient undergoes some major surgeries that may further trigger blood clotting, then doctors may implant IVC filters. But these retrievable filters are removed as soon as the clotting risk is over. But in some cases, these filters are in place for months and even years. At this point, there are chances of filter growing into the vein’s scar tissue and hence the removal process becomes complicated.
Significant complications include:
- Abnormal Heartbeat
- Infection or bleeding of the insertion site
- Reaction to the contrast agent (Like kidney dysfunction)
- Air bubbles blocking a blood vessel
- Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)
- Hemothorax (Collection of blood in the space between the lungs and chest)
Other complications are sometimes related to the filter itself as it might not open completely and due to this may tilt or get placed in the wrong location. There are also chances that the filter might fracture and migrate to another location of the body.
Latest innovations with respect to the removal of Inferior Vena Cava filter:
Inferior Vena Cava filter complications usually start occurring in 3 to 6 months. Also, many people ignore the need of follow-ups to determine the status of IVC filters, which lead to complications. To tackle these issues, a team of interventional radiologists from Rush University Medical centre developed an effective and safe method to remove the filter, with the technique being also published by the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
This innovative system revolves around holding the device firmly during the procedure in order to ensure that it doesn’t move, thus reducing the chances of any additional damage done to the vein. Once this is done the doctors or the surgeons would then cover the device so that no piece of this IVC filter breaks and travel elsewhere in the body. To make this technique possible an excimer laser is utilized (lasers usually used in eye surgery and production of microelectronics).
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