Harvard Heart Letter

Vena cava filters: Tiny cages that trap blood clots

A common complication after surgery, trauma, or a prolonged period of immobility is the formation of a blood clot in a vein deep inside the leg. The first-line treatment for this problem is blood-thinning medicine. However, some people can’t take these drugs because they are vulnerable to excess bleeding. For them, a tiny cage-like device called a vena cava filter placed within a major vein can protect against migrating clots before they can travel to the lungs.
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