While doctors have recommended IVC filters as far back as the 1970s, the FDA released a warning about its safety risks in 2010 after receiving over 900 adverse event reports. Four years later, the FDA released a safety communication to doctors, recommending the filter’s removal once a patient is no longer at risk for pulmonary embolism. According to the FDA’s statement, the IVC filter should be removed within 29 to 54 days of the initial procedure.
But two years later, a study by the American College of Cardiology discovered that doctors fail to monitor patients after implanting an IVC filter and don’t provide them with adequate information about the device. Subsequently, in spite of the FDA’s two warnings, retrieval rates remain low.
Between the initial implant, retrieval and long-term use beyond the FDA’s recommendations, IVC filters pose several serious complications.
During the Procedure
As with any surgical procedure, implanting an IVC filter comes with certain risks:
- A patient may experience some bleeding or bruising about the access site.
- The filter may puncture a blood vessel.
- Doctors have been known to incorrectly place the filter in the body, including how it’s positioned and where it’s placed.
- The filter may not deploy correctly.