To prevent pulmonary embolism in the presence of deep venous thrombosis (blood clots in the large deep veins of the legs that could then travel to the lungs or heart.)
After a focused history and physical exam, a venous duplex examination is reviewed to look for blood clots in the leg veins.
The femoral vein (large leg vein located in the groin) has a hollow wire, called a catheter, inserted into it. Dye is injected through the catheter and an x-ray picture of the inferior vena cava (the largest vein in the body, which leads directly to the heart) is taken. After the patients anatomy is demonstrated on the x-ray, a small umbrella shaped metal device (the filter) is placed into the vena cava to catch any traveling blood clots before they can reach the heart or lungs.
Length of Stay: The skin puncture site that the catheter was placed through is observed for two hours after which normal activity may be resumed.
Recovery: There are otherwise no restrictions and an inpatient stay is not required unless other treatments are required (for instance, the administration of blood thinners).