Out of Office Procedures
An inferior vena cava (or IVC) filter is a device implanted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the body into the heart’s right atrium. The tiny filter is inserted into the vein as a way to prevent a pulmonary embolism – a blockage of the arteries of the lungs caused by air or fat in the blood vessels. The procedure requires only local anesthetic, and most patients are able to resume normal activities within 24 hours.
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters come in two varieties: one that is intended for permanent placement and another that should be removed as soon as the patient’s risk of pulmonary embolism subsides. There are a number of risks — including damage or perforation of the blood vessel — if an IVC filter intended for short-term use is left in place for longer than the intended time period. IVC removal, retrieval, or realignment is a fairly fast procedure and patients can resume regular activities shortly after the device is removed.
Venous angiography is a type of medical imaging that provides cardiologists a picture of the inside of a patient’s blood vessels and heart, allowing them to visualize the path of blood through the body. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into the body through an artery in the leg, arm, or neck, and cardiologists release a contrast agent to help the blood vessels show up clearly on an x-ray image. The procedure helps diagnose stenosis, or narrowing of the blood vessels.
An implantable cardio-defibrillator, or ICD implant (also known as a cardiac implantable device or simply a “defibrillator”), is a small electronic device that helps monitor a patient’s heart rate and correct for a sudden, abnormally fast heartbeat. The device may be recommended for patients who have had at least one episode of cardiac arrest, ventricular tachycardia, or ventricular fibrillation. Patients should discuss pre-procedural care and medication intake with their doctors and should not eat or drink the morning of the procedure.