Inferior Vena Cava Filter Complications May Arise When Removed

An inferior vena cava filters also known as IVC filters, is a small metal device specially designed to prevent blood clots from travelling to the lungs. These devices have been connected with a series of serious complications such as breakage and migration that may injure patients, as well as organ and vein perforation. The device looks like a metal cage and is surgically inserted into the vein which takes blood back to the heart and lungs. By trapping blood clots and preventing possible fatal lung clots, these IVC filters aid in the recovery of people from surgeries and accidents. Until recent times, IVC filters were only available as permanently implanted devices. Latest filters called optionally retrievable filters, can be either permanently left in place or possibly removed from the vessel in the future.

Blood clots that develop inside the pelvis, upper and lower extremities are known as deep venous thrombosis, or DVTs. People who had episodes of DVTs while under blood-thinning medication and those who can’t consume or tolerate blood-thinning medication due to an adverse reaction, trauma, bleeding or recent surgery are the best candidates for filter implantation. Retrievable filters are designed to be removed from the patient’s body once there is no longer a risk for pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot causing blockage in a lung. Unfortunately, these retrievable filters are linked to possible risks such as filter fracture, device migration, embolization (detached device components), difficulty removing the device, perforation of the IVC. Additional complications occur when the device breaks and part of it travels to another area in the patient’s body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made public a safety alert in 2014, recommending these retrievable devices to be removed between the 29th and 54th day after being implanted in patients from which pulmonary embolism subsided.

Further studies reveal these five retrievable filters that are prone to failure:

  • Cook’s Celect
  • Cook’s Gunther Tulip
  • Bard’s G2 Express
  • Bard’s G2
  • Bard’s Recovery

The FDA requires all physicians involved in the follow-up and treatment of patients receiving IVC filters to review the benefits and risks of filter removal for each patient. For currently marketed IVC filters in the United States, the FDA is requiring collection of additional clinical data. Manufacturers of IVC filters obtain data through an independent national clinical study known as PRESERVE (PREdicting the Safety and Effectiveness of InferioR Vena Cava Filters) or by conducting a post market surveillance. If you or anyone you know have suffered from serious health complications related to an IVC filter removal, Please Contact Us and provide any details along with contact information. If you prefer to leave a voicemail you can call 1.858.236.9020. can then forward these requests to our network of attorneys that may contact you if a Class Action Lawsuit is to be pursued. In addition make sure you Subscribe to our mailing list to receive important updates regarding class action news and open cases.