Inferior vena cava filters otherwise known as IVCs are medical miracles. These tiny devices can be installed into a large vein in the body known as the inferior vena cava in order to help stop as well as prevent blockages from traveling through the blood stream. These blockages could potentially cause a stroke, heart attack or other form of health disaster if not treated or caught in time. The Greenfield filter is a specific type of IVC used in medicine today but not all patients are happy with the device and have filed IVC filter lawsuits claiming the devices cause severe injury.
Vascular surgeons place the filter for the patient. They are specially trained and have extensive experience in this type of surgery, as many of them are different shapes and sizes and have complex components such as “legs” that can easily be bent or broken if not handled properly. These devices are also small, and placing them in the inferior vena cava can be strenuous and requires knowledge and experience.
The Greenfield filter is used to help capture clots. This type of filter is a small, stainless steel device. Many filters are cone shaped with legs that stem from a small, round base. The Greenfield filter is cone-shaped, with six legs that stem from the base. Each of these legs has tiny hooks on the end to help with placement and stability during the initial installation and during its use. This type of filter has been used for approximately 30 years, and is a well-known tool in the medical world.
The Greenfield filter promotes the flow of blood around the device. It tapers from the base to its wider stance made by the legs so clots cannot travel any further through the vein. Clots can cause pulmonary embolism where blood clots travel through the blood stream to the lungs. These filters are placed usually near the kidney to catch any clots that form on the legs and travel using the veins. IVC filters are strategically placed to trap these clots but still allow blood to flow around them.
Implantation and retrieval of these devices has long been a controversial topic. Many filter can be retrieved with harm to the person or to the filter, but some are difficult to remove based on their structure, location, and condition. Not all models can be retrieved. Some IVC filters are classified as permanent fixtures, but others may have short-term or long term risks associated with retrieval efforts. The devices can break, migrate, puncture organs, and cause catastrophic blockages. Placement of filters extremely important because if installed improperly or in the wrong area, it can pose many health hazards and complications. Learn more about the options that may be available to you if you have been injured by an IVC filter including if you are eligible to file an IVC filter lawsuit for compensation.