Filters for Pulmonary Embolus (PE) Prevention

Filters are a preventative treatment option for deep vein thrombosis that are often recommended for patients that cannot take the blood thinning medications for a variety of medical reasons. Filters are small, wire fixtures that are inserted into the vena cava, a large vein that is in the abdomen. The filters function by preventing clots that break lose in your veins from lodging within your lungs. This prevents your risk of developing severe and life-threatening complications from Deep Vein Thrombosis, like a pulmonary embolism which occurs when the blood clot reaches the lung.

During this procedure the filter is placed within the vena cava vein, which reaches from your heart to your lower body and is largely located within the abdomen. The vena cava filter is only temporarily left in the vein. While inserted, the filter will capture blood clots and will prevent them from being able to move throughout the body. The filter does not otherwise alter your blood flow. Blood that is not pooled or clotted is able to pass through the filter and flow through your veins without any disturbance.

Unlike other forms of Deep Vein Thrombosis treatment, the vena cava filter must be put into place with a brief surgical procedure. Dr. Perry will insert the filter into your leg, neck or arm vein using a catheter. The length of time that the filter needs to stay in place depends upon your individual needs and circumstances. Dr. Perry will be able to provide you with further insight into your particular procedure and care timeline. Generally, the procedure itself lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.

The biggest benefit of the vena cava filter is that it eliminates the need for regular medication. This treatment also provides an option for relief from DVT in patients that cannot take medications such as the blood thinners due to side effects or other health reasons. Risks and complication with the vena cava filter are rare, but in some circumstances a punctured or blocked vein may occur. It is important to follow all of your physician’s instructions both prior to your operation and following the procedure as well, so to minimize your risk of these types of complications.

If you would like more information regarding the treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis with a filter in Cartersville, North Georgia, then please contact us to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Perry.