IVC Filter Complications
IVC filters have been implanted in hundreds of thousands of patients across the country. The metal device, which is similar in appearance to a spider, is implanted in the inferior vena cava (one of the largest veins in the body) to reduce the chance of a blood clot entering the lungs and causing a PE. The filter is designed to catch or break up a clot before it can become a potentially life-threatening problem.
In many instances, however, the device has failed. IVC filters can fracture, sending pieces through the bloodstream and into organs, such as the lungs and kidneys. Some patients have experienced a shifting of the device, which can substantially reduce blood flow. Unfortunately, IVC filter malfunctions have not only resulted in severe injuries but also deaths.
If you have an IVC filter inside your body but you have not suffered any adverse affects, you need to be monitored on a regular basis to see if the device poses a danger of breaking. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends retrievable IVC filters be removed within 29-54 days after a doctor determines the threat of blood clots has passed.