Doctors insert Retrievable IVC Filters into the Inferior Vena Cava, the largest vein in the human body, for the purpose of preventing blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs after traveling up from the legs. To insert the device, a small incision must first be made near the patient’s neck or groin area. Through this incision, the doctor may slide a catheter into the patient’s inferior vena cava, which he uses to place and position the IVC filter.
The metal, squid-like device is then ready to catch potential blood clots before they reach the heart and lungs, becoming life threatening. Though some IVC Filters are intended to be permanent, Retrievable IVC Filters, as the name implies, are meant only as short-term solutions. As soon as the patient’s threat of Pulmonary Embolism has passed, doctors should be able to perform another surgery—one very similar to the operation performed for the implantation of the device—in order to remove the filter.
However, due to these mechanisms being prone to failure, it is often difficult and even impossible for doctors to remove them. Retrievable IVC Filters have a dangerous tendency to migrate from their intended positions. They may drift through the patient’s vein to an area inaccessible by doctors, where they themselves become a serious danger. During other times when the filter moves from its correct location, the device itself may break apart, and its pointy metal legs may puncture and perforate the inferior vena cava as well as other nearby organs, presenting another, entirely new, life threating problem for the patient.
The longer a Retrievable IVC Filter remains inside a patient’s body, the greater the risk that complications may occur. A few of the signs patients with Retrievable IVC Filters should look for to indicate that there could be a serious issue include the following:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Abnormal pain in the chest
- Sudden shortness of breath
If you or someone you know has had a Retreivable IVC Filter installed—especially if they have experienced any of the above symptoms—contact your physician immediately, as it could mean the difference between life and death. These risks are serious, and they’re ones that no one should have to face. Contact us, the Attorney League, today, for a free case evaluation. There are no strings attached. We want to help secure justice for you.