IVC filters have worked wonders in treating pulmonary embolism in the inferior vena cava, the most prominent vein in the abdomen. Doctors insert the filter via a small incision using a catheter. Thus, it is a minimally invasive surgery. But IVC filter removal is equally important.
While medical practitioners previously advised that older filters remain where there are, they soon saw that it led to complications. To combat the issue, scientists developed a retrievable IVC filter.
The FDA recommends that doctors should remove IVC filters once there is no threat of a life-threatening clot. The IVC filter removal procedure is also minimally invasive, but scar tissue around the device makes it difficult. The procedure often results in complications like bleeding and blood clot.
Filter fractions may occur, and some fragments might escape to other body parts. In more severe cases, the device may become more deformed and embedded in blood vessel walls. When the latter happens, the patient would need a more invasive procedure at a specialized center.
Doctors have informed several people that they cannot retrieve their IVC filter without invasive surgery. That is about to change with the introduction of the advanced laser-assisted technique. The procedure is the brainchild of Dr. William Kuo, an interventional radiologist at Stanford Health Care.
In an article on Drug Watch, Dr. Kuo said many doctors and their patients are unaware of the advanced IVC filter removal technique. He noted that it reduces the need for invasive surgery and has recorded some success.
Dr. Kuo pioneered several techniques using an excimer laser to remove embedded IVC filters. He said the idea is to gently and precisely deal with the scar tissue around the device. So far, the procedure appears safe and allows the precise removal of 50-100 filter microns at a time, an achievement the radiologist is proud of.
If you or a loved one were injured by a defective IVC filter, contact a mass tort attorney. Your lawyer will review your case and let you know if your case qualifies for a mass tort claim.