Frequently Asked Questions

Indications and Techniques of Inferior Vena Cava Interruption
Q:  Will I be able to feel the filter or tell that I have it?

A:  There is no sensation of having a vena caval filter.

Q:  Does the filter ever have to be changed?

A:  The Greenfield filter is designed to last for a lifetime. If it traps small clots, they will dissolve over a short time. When a large clot is trapped, it is usually resolved within several weeks. If there are acute symptoms, clot-breaking drugs can be given.

Q:  Do I need to avoid sports or change my usual activities because of the filter?

A:  No. The vena cava and the filter are well protected by the surrounding organs, muscle, and fat. Many athletes as well as naval service pilots have filters and continue their careers.

Q:  Will I need to take anticoagulants for life?

A:  Whether or not you will need to take anticoagulant drugs depends on your medical condition, not on the absence or presence of the filter. Your physician will address this question.

Q:  Can I still have an MRI scan with a filter?

A:  Yes. The Greenfield filter has been shown to be safe during MRI scanning. The filter does not move. Other filters may react differently than the Greenfield filter and your doctor should be able to tell you if it is effected by the magnets of the MRI machine.

For more information, read Chapter 11: Indications and Techniques of Inferior Vena Cava Interruption.