A Dedicated Inferior Vena Cava Filter Service Line: How to Optimize Your Practice

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Despite the increased placement of retrievable inferior vena cava filters (rIVCFs), efforts to remove these devices are not commensurate. The majority of rIVCFs are left in place beyond their indicated usage, and often are retained permanently. With a growing understanding of the clinical issues associated with these devices, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has prompted clinicians to remove rIVCF when they are no longer indicated. However, major obstacles exist to filter retrieval, chief among them being poor clinical follow-up. The establishment of a dedicated IVC filter service line, or clinic, has been shown to improve filter retrieval rates. Usage of particular devices, specifically permanent versus retrievable filters, is enhanced by prospective physician consultation. In this article, the rationale behind a dedicated IVC filter service line is presented as well as described the structure and activities of the authors' IVC filter clinic; supporting data will also be provided when appropriate.

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