Despite there being no evidence blood clot filters help the overall population, or that they increase mortality for trauma patients, some 250,000 IVC filters are implanted in people yearly. Even more concerning, many of these devices are not removed as soon as they should be. Research has meanwhile shown that the longer IVC filters remain in the body, the more likely they are to cause problems. Fortunately, help may be on the way.
New Technology could save Lives
New technology is showing some promise, paving the way for the possible safe removal of IVC filters. New technology and methods could potentially save thousands of lives.
FDA recommends Quick IVC Filter Removal
Studies estimate that only 8% of IVC filters are removed from patients within 3.8 years of their being implanted. The FDA, meanwhile, recommends IVC filters be removed 24 to 59 days after being implanted.
The problem is that IVC filters aren’t always easy to remove, even within the recommended window; and the longer they remain implanted, the more difficult they can be to remove. IVC filters like those made by C.R. Bard, Cook Medical, and Cordis Corporation, have been named in blood clot filter lawsuits which allege they are prone to perforating the inferior vena cava wall. They can also migrate throughout the body and fracture, causing their parts to embed into vital organs. One client at Matthews & Associates Law Firm, which represents people who have filed IVC filter lawsuits, has an IVC filter embedded in a kidney. The entire kidney will likely need to be removed to safeguard the person’s life.
When an IVC filter fails within a person’s body, it can be extremely difficult to remove the device. Besides the kidneys, pieces can lodge in the heart or lungs, and devices that have perforated the vena cava wall often can’t be removed without causing further damage.
Serious, Life-threatening Complications
IVC filters left inside one’s body can cause serious, life-threatening complications, including internal bleeding or strokes. Patients left with the defective devices may live in constant fear that the wrong movement could jar a jagged piece loose and cause fatal damage. Into this fearful scenario comes this hopeful news.
Five-Year Study shows Promise for Filter Removal
A five-year study examined the safety and efficacy of using advanced laser technology to remove previously irretrievable IVC filters. Endovascular laser-assisted retrieval has been applied to successfully remove several different types of IVC filters. Researchers who worked in the study believe that nearly all defective IVC filters can be removed using this laser technology.
New Laser Technique removes IVC Filters
More clinical studies need to be performed using this procedure, which for now appears able to give many thousands of people hope for a better, healthier future unencumbered by IVC filter fears.