Retrievable inferior vena cava filters in high-risk patients undergoing bariatric surgery

Khashayar Vaziri, Parag Bhanot, Eric Hungness, Mark D. Morasch, Jay B. Prystowsky, Alexander P Nagle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Placement of retrievable inferior vena cava filters (rIVCF) may be beneficial in high-risk morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric procedures. Patients with a previous history of venous thromboembolism (VTE) are at high risk for postoperative deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Methods: A prospective database of bariatric surgery patients was studied from April 2003 to May 2007. A total of 791 patients underwent bariatric procedures, of which 30 (4%) had a previous history of VTE. These patients underwent preoperative venous duplex and concurrent placement of a rIVCF. Patient demographics and clinical outcomes were examined. Results: Thirty patients (12 (40%) men) had a mean age of 49 ± 8 years and a mean body mass index of 50 ± 8 kg/m2. Sixteen patients (53%) underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, ten (33%) underwent laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, and four (14%) underwent open Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Mean operative time, including rIVCF placement, was 162 ± 66 minutes. All patients had successful rIVCF placement with standard perioperative chemoprophylaxis. Twenty-nine patients (97%) had a follow-up ultrasound on postoperative day (POD) 19 ± 25. Six patients (21%) had recurrent DVT. Twenty-seven patients (90%) underwent a follow-up venogram, and four patients (15%) had significant thrombus in the rIVCF. Retrieval was successful in 21 patients (70%). Nine patients (30%) did not undergo retrieval: four had significant thrombus in the filter, four had an above-knee DVT, and one due to technical reasons. We observed one complication with a DVT at the access site and no PE or mortality. Conclusions: We observed a 21% incidence of recurrent DVT and 15% incidence of thrombus in the IVCF, yet no PE occurred. IVCF retrieval was successful in 70% with one complication. Concurrent IVCF placement is safe, feasible, and an effective preventative measure in high-risk morbidly obese patients. We recommend the use of rIVCFs in conjunction with standard VTE prophylaxis in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2203-2207
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Obesity
  • Vena cava filter
  • Venous thromboembolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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