IVC Filters and Thrombosis: A Potentially Deadly Combination
Many types of IVC filters are retrievable, meaning they are designed to be taken out once a patient’s risk for developing blood clots in the legs has subsided. However, in far too many cases, these filters are either not removed quickly enough or not removed at all. This can lead to a painful, potentially severe, condition known as IVC filter thrombosis.
What is IVC Filter Thrombosis?
It’s ironic that thrombosis, or clotting of the blood in a blood vessel, is one of the conditions that IVC filters are designed to prevent. IVC Filters are supposed to trap clots before they can reach the lungs and cause a possibly fatal pulmonary embolism.
Over time, however, retrievable IVC filters can either partially block the inferior vena cava (the vein that transports blood from the lower body to the heart) or obstruct it completely, leading to serious problems.
According to a recent study performed by researchers at the University of Rochester, patients who do not have their filters removed are at a substantially higher risk for the following conditions:
- Post-thrombotic syndrome – A condition where blood vessels cannot transport enough blood to the legs and arms, leading to chronic pain, swelling and pressure.
- Venous claudication – A condition caused by lack of proper blood flow. This can lead to aching, burning and weakness in the arms, legs or both.
- Venous ulceration – Painful wounds that appear on the skin due to a lack of sufficient circulation.
The bottom line is that if you have a retrievable IVC filter you need to have it removed as soon as you are no longer at risk for developing blood clots.
Lack of Warnings
Many IVC filter manufacturers have been accused of failing to properly warn patients and doctors about the dangers of not removing retrievable IVC filters on a timely basis. As a result, people across the country are filing lawsuits against these manufacturers in an effort to obtain compensation for medical bills and other expenses associated with the complications they’ve suffered.