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IVC Filter Replacement and Retrieval

What is IVC Filter Replacement and Retrieval? 

An IVC filter is a metal device that is placed into the inferior vena cava (IVC), which is the body’s main vein that leads from the legs to the right side of the heart.

For individuals with a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots that develop in the veins of the leg or pelvis can break apart, and large pieces may travel to the lungs. An IVC can keep those blood clots from being carried into the lungs or heart, which may cause severe complications or even death. 

Until recently, IVC filters were available only as permanently implanted devices. Newer filters, called optionally retrievable filters, may be left in place permanently or removed from the blood vessel at a later date. 

Who is a Candidate for IVC Filter Replacement and Retrieval? 

IVC filters are usually reserved for individuals who cannot take anticoagulant drugs or when anticoagulants do not work effectively enough. They may also benefit those who have episodes of venous thromboembolism (VTE), even while taking blood thinners, have or have had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or have or have had a blood clot in your lung (pulmonary embolism), and have a high risk of recurrence.

“Dr. Julien and his people are the most cohesive, personable and professional I’ve ever come across. From the time I walk in to when I leave I feel like they care about me. The result is good healing.”

– James R.

“Dr. Julien and his people are the most cohesive, personable and professional I’ve ever come across. From the time I walk in to when I leave I feel like they care about me. The result is good healing.”

– Josh R.

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– Anthony P.

“I was referred to Dr. W. Julian by my PCP and very happy that I was. Dr. Julian found a clogged artery that could have been life threatening if left untreated. My experience from consult to discharge was met courtesy, warmth and professionalism which helped me through my procedure. Sean greeted me and my son who explained the whole process and what to expect. I was also looked after by Josh, Jackie and Reuben who could not have been more supportive or communicative through this adventure.”

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“The whole staff were very professional and very helpful in navigating me through every procedure, treatments and follow ups. I would certainly recommend South Florida Vascular Associates.”

– Don S.

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– Robert G.

“All of the staff were friendly, courteous, and professional. Examination and consultation were thorough and expedited in a timely manner. I felt relaxed throughout the visit and all my medical questions and concerns were met and answered to my satisfaction. Would recommend this office to anyone seeking vascular care.”

– Felix G.

“I highly recommend this office for any vascular procedure you may need. The staff are awesome. They were very considerate and professional. My procedures were all a success and I am very happy with the end result. Top marks on everything.”

– Todd H.

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The IVC Filter Replacement and Retrieval Procedure

To place an IVC filter, a thin tube called a catheter will be inserted through a small incision in a vein on your groin or neck. The IVC filter will be pointed on the top of the catheter. Using image guidance, the physician will place the filter in the IVC and then remove the catheter. The filter is specifically designed so that it will anchor itself to the blood vessel walls.

The filter may be removed (or retrieved) when there is no longer the risk of blood clots traveling to the lung. Removing the filter eliminates any long-term risks correlated with keeping the filter in place. However, it doesn’t address the cause of DVT or coagulation. Your referring physician can determine if blood thinners are still necessary at this time.

IVC Filter Replacement and Retrieval Aftercare 

Following the procedure, you will most likely be able to return home the same day. A trusted friend or family member will need to drive you home once you awake from anesthesia. It is vital that you follow your physician’s aftercare instructions for optimal outcomes.  


William Julien, MD

Board-Certified Vascular Interventional Physician


Mana Khatkar, PA-C

Certified Physician Assistant


Anissa Rodriguez, NP-C

Certified Nurse Practitioner


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