The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in your body. It carries blood from your lower body to your heart and lungs.
A blood clot in a vein below your heart blocks your normal blood flow and may cause swelling, redness, and pain in the area. Blood clots are treated with blood thinners but some people may not be able to receive this treatment. In those cases, an IVC filter may be placed.
An IVC filter is a small device that is placed in your inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots from moving through your blood into your lungs.
Your IVC filter will be placed by your interventional radiologist. An interventional radiologist is a doctor who specializes in image-guided procedures. They will place the filter in your inferior vena cava by going through a vein in your neck or groin. Your doctor will position the filter in the vein using a fluoroscopy (real-time x-rays).
The procedure will take about 30 minutes, but you should expect to be in the procedure room for about an hour. You will have a follow-up appointment 4 to 6 weeks after placement to see when your IVC filter can be removed.