Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Umbrella Placement
Why is the doctor performing this procedure?
To prevent a blood clot from traveling from the legs into the lung circulation. A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism.
What is the procedure?
The inferior vena cava (IVC) is the large vein that takes un-oxygenated blood from the lower half of the body and delivers it to the heart, where it is pumped to the lungs for oxygenation. An IVC filter is a tiny metal device capable of filtering out harmful blood clots that can cause pulmonary embolism.
IVC filter placement is a catheter-based procedure that allows placement of the filtering umbrella in the IVC. A catheter is inserted into a vein, usually in the groin or neck. It is then advanced into the IVC. Dye is injected into the IVC and x-rays are taken. Then a catheter with the filter is inserted and advanced into the IVC. Once properly positioned, the catheter is removed, and the filter remains in place. Dye is injected into a separate catheter again, and x-rays are repeated to assure proper placement of the umbrella. Then the catheter is removed, pressure is applied to the catheter site to stop bleeding, and the patient rests flat for several hours.
Where is the procedure performed?
In the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
How long does this procedure take?
IVC filter placement usually takes 1-2 hours.