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Can you have complications from an IVC filter?

You may sometimes use an IVC filter if you need to prevent blood clots. While you need this device to stay healthy, there may be times when you develop complications because of a defect in the filter.

If you use a retrievable IVC filter that is relatively new, this device may sometimes migrate to a different part of your body. According to, an IVC filter might move because of changes in your body temperature. As your body temperature goes up and down, an IVC filter can develop a different configuration and this can cause it to separate from your veins. A retrievable filter might also fracture if it is left in your body too long. The pieces that break off can sometimes move closer to your heart and pierce different parts of your body. It is estimated that a migrating filter and broken pieces cause 51.5 percent of complications.

If you have complications from your IVC filter, they usually fit into one of three categories. You may experience vein scarring or blood clots in the filter. These are called retrieval complications because they can make it difficult for surgeons to remove the device from your body. You may also experience procedural complications. These typically include hematoma, infection or bleeding at the access site. The last category of complications is called delayed complications. You might experience an infection from the filter, pulmonary embolism or blood clots.

Sometimes you might have complications that are less serious. You may experience chest pains or an irregular heartbeat. Sometimes you may also feel breathless.

This information is intended to educate. It should not be used in place of legal advice. 

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