First in State with Retrievable Clot Filter
Patients who need protection from dangerous blood clots often get an IVC filter — a loose wire “net” placed by catheter inside the inferior vena cava, a major blood vessel. IVC filters are important for several kinds of patients, including patients who cannot use blood thinners and people who must spend weeks in bed after an accident.
Until now, these filters remained in the vein permanently, posing a long-term risk of the vessel clotting off completely. The good news for patients: Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin recently became the first hospital in Wisconsin to employ a new retrievable IVC filter.
According to William Rilling, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin interventional radiologist and director of Interventional Radiology at Froedtert & Medical College, the new FDA–approved filter can be removed non-invasively weeks or months after placement. That makes the decision whether or not to insert a filter an easier one. “Now we can feel much better about putting an IVC filter in for protection,” says Rilling. “Since we can remove it, the patient will not be at risk from the device 20 years down the line.” Dr. Rilling was one of the first 10 physicians in the United States to learn how to use the new retrievable filter.