The Hazards of Retrievable IVC Filters: An IVC filter is safe for many people, but there are potential problems with it, particularly when it is retrievable. The main risk occurs when parts break off, or when the filter gets dislodged and it moves inside the body. Pieces of the filter can migrate into the lungs or severely damage the wall of the inferior vena cava vein. And a bleeding event associated with that damage is especially serious, because a large volume of blood is involved.
Surgery, including open-heart surgery, is often required to remove either a damaged IVC or pieces of the apparatus that have traveled in the body. And major surgery exposes a patient to additional risks.
The IVC filter also produces side effects. Loss of consciousness, irregular heartbeat, heart damage, fluid buildup, and chest pain combined with breathing difficulties have all occurred.
Health problems associated with the retrievable IVC filter have prompted many patients to sue Bard, Cook Group, and Boston Scientific.