Why are IVC filters used?

IVC filters are used for individuals who suffer the risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs), but who are unable to take blood-thinning medications. IVC filters can be implanted for a number of reasons and are typically used in patients that have:

  • Blood clots
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Trauma (i.e. gunshot wounds)
  • Immobile
  • Dialysis
  • Recently had surgery
  • Delivered a baby

IVC filters are meant to capture blood clots that develop in a person’s veins. The intent is for the IVC filter to stop a clot from moving up to the heart or lungs, where it can cause a stroke or other severe complications.