One of the most serious conditions we treat in our Monmouth County vein clinic is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is characterized by the formation of blood clots (thrombi) in the large veins of the leg. In many cases these clots can be treated using compression stockings to improve circulation and anticoagulant medications to shrink existing clots and stop the formation of new ones.
But the real danger of DVT is a related condition called pulmonary embolism (PE), which kills nearly 300,000 Americans every year. A PE occurs when a blood clot travels from these large leg veins through the inferior vena cava (the blood vessel that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body back to the heart) and blocks proper blood flow through the lungs. To prevent this, Jersey Shore vein doctors sometimes insert a device called an inferior vena cava filter.
What is an IVC filter and what does it do?
An IVC filter is a medical device that is implanted in the inferior vena cava using minimally-invasive interventional radiology procedures. The filter has tiny holes in it that allow blood and small particles to pass through it, but traps blood clots before they can reach the lungs. Normally, this procedure is recommended only for patients whose DVT has failed to respond properly to anticoagulant therapy.
The insertion of the filter is performed in an outpatient setting, accessing the inferior vena cava through a tiny opening in either the groin or the neck, and then guiding the filter into the proper position using ultrasound or other medical visualization techniques.
So if you are being treated for DVT and have questions as to whether a vena cava filter would be appropriate in your case, just give our Monmouth County vein experts a call at 732-403-3899 and schedule a consultation.