Patients who were implanted with inferior vena cava (IVC) filters during bariatric surgery to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart or lungs were far more likely to develop blood clots in their veins than patients undergoing bariatric surgery who did not use an IVC filter, according to data from a large bariatric surgery registry.
The study, presented at the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery meeting, found that venous thrombosis, or VTE, (blood clots in the veins) occurred in 1.8 percent of 1,045 patients who received the filters compared to 0.4 percent of similar patients who did not receive the filters.
Bariatric surgery patients with IVC filters had a higher risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), and a significantly higher risk of deep vein thrombosis and total VTE compared to bariatric patients who did not receive the filters. The filters were also associated with a higher rate of disabling complications, serious complications, and total complications.
“In bariatric surgery, the risks of IVC filter insertion exceeded the benefits and their use should be discouraged,” said Jonathan D. Finks, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
IVC filters are small, cage-like devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava, the body’s largest vein. They are designed to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the heart or lungs. They are often used in bariatric, trauma and orthopedic surgery.
A growing number of adverse events in patients implanted with the devices prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 to issue a safety alert that the implants could migrate, cause embolization, perforate the inferior vena cava, or fracture, leading to life threatening complications.
Even before the FDA issued its warning regarding IVC filters, studies were beginning to reveal just how dangerous the devices were, with a higher rate of pulmonary embolism and an increased risk of complications.
Attorneys with Beasley Allen Law Firm are currently investigating cases of death or injury in patients who have received IVC filters.
Source: Medpage Today