The last several decades have seen dramatic changes in the standards for both the insertion and removal of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. Retrievable and nonretrievable IVC filters can frequently be removed by endovascular techniques. Because IVC filters rarely cause symptoms or result in complications, those that cannot be easily removed are usually left in place. Open removal is reserved for IVC filters with complications or causing symptoms that cannot be removed by endovascular techniques.

The results of open IVC filter removal at a single academic medical center from January 2011 through June 2019 were reviewed.

Nine open IVC filter removals were performed. Six (68%) patients were female. The mean age was 46 years (range, 26-65 years). The filters had been in place for a mean of 6.6 years (range, 1-12 years). Six (68%) of the filters were originally placed because of deep venous thrombosis with pulmonary embolus in patients with contraindications to anticoagulation. Three (33%) were placed prophylactically in high-risk trauma patients not able to be anticoagulated. The most common indication for IVC filter removal was severe malposition of the filter with filter erosion through the IVC wall.

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