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Thread: Greenfield filter removal?

  1. #1

    Greenfield filter removal?

    Had filter placed 2004 for recurrent PE's for DVTs right leg after injury and dx.of RSD.Fast forward to now,I had subendo MI first of Aug.and heart cath showing 80% blockage LAD and 70% of circumflex.Two stents placed LAD and due to have one placed in circumflex.The Docs want to remove the IVC saying it shouldn't have been left in for so long.My question is Should I go along with this?Other than some mild edema in leg I really don't suffer any other symtoms and I worry that their might be serious complications in attempts to remove a filter that's been in place this long. Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Who are the docs that want to do this? Are they vascular surgeons, specifically with expertise in inserting/removing this type of filter? Is there a specific complication you are having right now due to the filter?

    You are right to worry. I was told that only some types are removable, and the ones that are removable should be removed within months after placement. This is because the longer you wait, then scar tissue forms around the "foreign object" and it essentially becomes part of you. If you try to remove it, then you could tear the artery.

    The success of removal depends highly on the talents of those intravascular surgeons doing the task. I would be wary to do unless I was at a place famous for these types of maneuvers. I would want them to tell me exact STATISTICS for why it should be done. What are my risks of keeping it in, taking it out, how many have you removed, what are your results, are they patients like me who had them in 8 years etc...

    Many people live with these, although I agree that I would have preferred to have them out. My dad has chronic severe edema because of his and has to wear high pressure stockings because of it. There is also an increased risk of getting another DVT in your legs by having one because the filter slows down the return of blood from your legs going back to the heart. This slow moving blood is at more risk for forming a blood clot. HOWEVER, over time your body starts growing additional blood vessels around the filter, so then blood flows past it more easily. The down side of this is that the new blood vessels circumventing the filter can allow clots that form in your legs now to get to the lungs/heart.... the whole reason you got the filter was to prevent this!

    So people with IVC filters are usually told they need to be on some degree of blood thinner for life. It is unclear though "how much" anti-coagulation they need.... is an aspirin enough... coumadin... what INR goal... etc..

    So I will be curious to hear if anyone on this site has has one removed so late.

    Here is a link to a procedure at Stanford university for removing them, and it also discusses some of the risks of them long term.

  3. #3
    I have one. It was placed there when I was hurt back in 1999. I never think about it or if it would give me problems.
    I want to Rock you Gypsy soul and together we will flow into the Mystic.
    Van Morrison

  4. #4
    They filter can stay in- but if having problems and or clogged up and collateral vessels with clots going- then it cqn be removed but we don't remove them for no reason or after a period of time- if ever uness needed.I don't know of any time frame either.. They must have a specific reason the want it removed. They can also be removed. Only those who know what they are doing should be doing it. or Will you be on anticoagulation- Coumadin- for this and your heart issue??

  5. #5


    Thanks for the responses so far.As for the physicians who asked why I still had the filter they are cardiologists.Yes,I would seek a couple of vascular guys opinions before going through with removal of the filter.As for any symtoms I suffer only some mild edema in the right leg and have not had anymore DVTs.As for meds I am on Effient to stop platelet aggregation on the stents.I just needed to talk to someone about this since there is a great deal of info on IVC filters use but not alot re:need to remove them.Again thanks so much!

  6. #6
    Effient- new drug similiar to Plavix!! Do you take it with Aspirin also??

  7. #7


    Yes, I continue to take 1 asa a day.

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