Inferior Vena Cava Filter Placement

An IVC filter is a titanium basket device designed to catch blood clots from traveling from the lower extremities (DVT: deep vein thrombosis) to the lungs. A blood clot to the lung is called a pulmonary embolism, which can be life threatening if not treated. The filter is placed into the vena cava (large vein in the abdomen) by the Radiologist (x-ray doctor). The filter will be inserted through a vein in your groin or neck. A thin tube called a catheter will be placed in your abdomen and the filter will then be placed in the vein. Contrast (x-ray dye) will be injected and x-rays will be taken to record the study.

Procedure time: 1 hour

Most people who have deep vein thrombosis are treated with blood thinners (anticoagulants), which help prevent the formation of blood clots and minimize the risk of pulmonary embolism. However, some people cannot take blood thinners for various reasons. Other people can take them, but the blood thinners do not have the desired effect. A vena cava filter is intended for these people.

Patient Prep Preparation Instructions:

  1. Nothing to eat or drink 6 hours before your exam.
  2. You may need to have blood work prior to your test. The Medical Imaging Department will call you before your exam. Outpatient registration will have a copy of your lab work order, if needed.
  3. Inform the Medical Imaging Department if you are on blood thinners or allergic to contrast. Coumadin, Plavix, and Aspirin cannot be taken 3-5 days prior to your exam.
  4. You will be asked to stay for up to 3-4 hours for observation.
  5. You will need someone to drive you home.
  6. Please inform radiology if there is any chance of pregnancy.
  7. After registration you will go to an observation area prior to your exam. You will be asked to change into a gown; a nurse will assess you and start an IV prior to coming to the Medical Imaging Department.
  8. You will be given discharge instructions prior to leaving.
  9. If you have any questions, please call 419-394-3335 ext. 3528 for assistance.

To better assist us with your treatment, we are asking that you bring a list of your current medications and doses. This information is very valuable and will help us to provide you with the best, most timely service possible.




Grand Lake Health System
200 St. Clair Street, St. Marys,
Ohio 45885-2400
| 1-419-394-3335 | 1-877-564-6897