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Greenfield filter pain
Started by marie
Posted: March 9, 2008
Hi there, I was recently diagnosed with May-Thurner and Factor II mutation complicating the matter. I had a procedure done a couple of days ago to place a stent in the iliac vein and a greenfield filter in my IVC. Has anyone experienced severe right flank pain after having the greenfield filter put in? My doctors did a CT scan to make sure that there was no internal bleeding and it looked normal. They suggested that the pain may be from the procedure or the filter. Thank you for your input
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #1 by Sharon
Posted: March 9, 2008 at 05:09

I had an IVC filter--don't know the name of mine, and I know there are about 30 different kinds. I did not have any right flank pain. I know I got a bad back from their moving me during the procedure to remove it. I've had lower back and referred groin pain from that problem according to the chiropractor. I have read many of Diane's posts and others talking about a great deal of pain from the stent in the iliac vein, but I think those are always on the left are they not? Hope things get better for you soon.
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #2 by Sue
Posted: March 9, 2008 at 10:21

just wanted to say hello as you are the first person that I've seen with Factor II mutation (I found out I had this at New Yaer). Haven't had a greenfield filter - I had clot in left leg though and with gynaelogical problems on LHS I did wonder if I could have had May Thurner but as I'm on warfarin for life this wasn't overly investigated. Interestingly though I did have severe flank pain which came on some months after DVT - I still feel its tender on ocassion on my LHS - I'd put it down to vagaries of the warfarin and posture but will watch this post with interest for other peoples experiences....
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #3 by Crystal
Posted: March 10, 2008 at 17:05
I too had an IVC filter placed as soon as my VQ lung scan showed my clot had broken off and traveling to the heart. I am not sure the brand of the filter though. I did have some pain, but I have to admit that EVERYTHING hurt and I was on a morphene pump, etc. so I would hate to say was solely the filter.

I had mine removed on the 21st day after implant. My surgeon did not feel it was necessary any longer as the clot had been disolved - but more because he was afraid of the complications from leaving it in place.

Are they going to leave it in forever? Do they have plans to remove it soon?

Sorry I couldnt be more help!

Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #4 by Marie
Posted: March 11, 2008 at 15:01
The pain is starting to dissipate, and the Dr. seems to think it was from the manipulation during the thrombectomy/stent/filter placement. I have an appointment in 3 weeks to discuss removing the filter as it is temporary, but i still have alot of clotting so they may opt to place a permanent filter.

Crystal - how was the procedure to remove the filter? They will have to retrieve it via the jugular, and since i was alert when they put it in, i am a bit nervous about this procedure.
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #5 by Crystal
Posted: March 13, 2008
Hi Marie,

I had the filter removed only 3 weeks after insertion. They were worried that the filter "legs" would start to adhere to the vein!! Scary!!! You may be able to talk to the doctor about the length of time it stays temporary - before your body starts to adopt it.

Anyway, for the proceedure - they gave me lots of meds, but I was NOT completely knocked out. I kept BEGGING for more drugs b.c I could feel the pressure (no pain) and I could sort of see. They made me tilt my head to the left and made a small small incision and then went in with a tube and a grabber tool. They had to make the filter collapse and then attach to a hook - and pull out. The first set of "tools" they went in with were not long enough and I heard them say that during the proceedure!!! They pulled out and then went back in with longer tubes, etc. They hooked mine fairly easily and we careful not to rip the vein. This was my biggest concern!

I had the surgeon give me the filter after he removed it. I kept it as a souvenier! Sort of like my reminder and my saving grace (mine caught my clot after a piece broke off and was traveling to my heart).

I have a small scar - nothing major.

Let me know if you need more information. Its really helpful to speak to people who understand!

Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #6 by Sharon
Posted: March 13, 2008 at 04:00

My vascular surgeon said that the filters can't stay more than 3 months or you need to leave them permenantly. Mine was taken out thru the groin. They tried getting it from the left, but couldn't hook it, so they went thru the right and got it easily. I was asleep, so no stress for me about it. The worst part for me is that they didn't catheterize me in the O.R. and when I was in recovery they had a huge C-clamp holding pressure on the site where they pulled it out. I had to go to the bathroom, but was not allowed to move my legs for 2 hrs bcs I had to remain anticoagulated during the procedure bcs they were afraid I would become hypercoaguable again. The nurses in the recovery room had a fit bcs they had to figure out how to place a catheter w/o me moving my legs. While they were arguing about why it had not been done in the OR, I had to ask them--"What part of I have to go do you not understand?" LOL I got to keep my filter also--it looks like a miniature wire Christmas ornament. I had no pain afterwards either. Is there a reason they only want to go thru your jugular? My doc said they could do either and I preferred the groin entry, thank you very much. I didn't want to think of the jugular and being so anticoagulated at the same time.

Crystal--I am surprised they took yours out when it caught clot. My vascular surgeon said that if there was clot in mine, he wouldn't take it out bcs it was doing its job and catching the PEs and he wouldn't want to shake any loose from the filter on removal. Maybe just a dr. preference. You didn't say what your entry site was...groin or neck??
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #7 by Theresa
Posted: March 13, 2008 at 16:01
I also had the Green filter placed (twice and removed twice) and 2 stents placed in the iliac. The first time the filter was removed it was 7 days after they were able to open my clot via TPA and angioplasty. 3 weeks later I developed another clot...not quite as big as the first. They placed the filter in the jugular again (only this time they had to use a larger filter than the first time). It did not sit properly and removing it the second time wasn't as easy as the first time. The filter must sit level - but they do have a 15 degree area of tilt that can occur and the filter will remain effective. I was curious as to why they had a different surgeon remove it the second time...they told me this surgeon was the "filter pro"... I later found out my tilt was 30 degrees. They didn't tell me that until after it was removed - thank God...I would have been a nervous wreck! It was removed a month after the second clot was cleared and the stents were placed. The procedure was exactly what Crystal described. Only I am very sensitive to sedatives so they used minimal dosing on me - I was awake and alert throughout - but really felt only pressure - no pain.

Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #8 by valerie
Posted: March 13, 2008 at 17:07
I had a green field filter inserted, after I developed bleeding complications, after having twins.(Had blood clot during pregnancy). 5 weeks later they unsuccessfully tried to remove it,as it got lodged in jugular vein, and ended up stuck behind collar bone! This was after 2 hours under local anisthetic and 3 hours under general,trying to rmove it.I was told I would be fine as it was secured to vein, but after 5 weeks of increasing pain and discomfort, I ended up having an emmergency sternotomy,heart surgery! The heart surgeon told me that in trying to remove filter ,the doctor had perforated vein,and I had been bleeding for 5 weeks,around my heart.He removed 3oomls blood from around heart and repaired the vein.He told me that 500mls is fatal and I was lucky girl to be alive! Im not trying to scaremonger, but these procedures should be taken with extreme caution and they are not the straight forward procedures that we are led to believe!
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #9 by Marie
Posted: March 13, 2008 at 23:36
Ughh! I'm even less excited about this now. They tried to completely sedate me for the last 2 procedures, but i was awake and alert for both, including the thrombolysis and thrombectomy. They have to go in through the jugular because of the specific type of filter. My appointment will be 4 weeks following placement of the filter. I think they are hesitant to remove it because I have continued to clot through coumadin and lovenox.

Crystal - What you described sounds exactly like what the Dr. has described to me. How long did it take you to recouperate? I had the stent put in and more clot removed 1 week ago, and am just starting to feel like myself, so i am a little anxious about going in for another procedure. I'm hoping that now that i have the stent, i will stop clotting. Thanks so much for the information. I don't know anyone who has gone through this, so any input is appreciated!
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #10 by Sharon
Posted: March 14, 2008 at 03:52
Valarie--You make me glad I said no to the jugular thing!
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #11 by Crystal
Posted: March 14, 2008 at 15:00
Hi all

Sharon - they only removed it once the full clot has been disolved and they didnt feel it was necessary. It did have some clot left on the filter when it was removed (caught where the legs joined). Now that you say it - yea - sounds like a bad idea!!

Marie, I am glad that they went through the jugular on this one. I was tired of being poked in the groin! Actually, I left the hospital that day (after about 6 hrs in recovery)and was doing fine - feeling better in 2-3 days. I always had trouble walking after they did any leg/groin proceedures since it was in a bend, and my clothing would rub. With the neck, nothing was bothering the incision site.

I was happy to have this filter out. My doctors were not aware of anyone who had it long term (I was 21 when this happened) and they were anxious to get it out.

I was actually more scared for this proceedure because I had time to think about it and worry myself sick. With my DVT, everything went so fast and it was all a blur that I dont remember much - lots of drugs!

I think the worst part of it all was that I was alert, and they were so close to my face. I wanted to move my head the entire time. The other thing is that nasty brown sterilizer they wipe around the incision site - it was all in my hair!!

I think you have been through the hard part! I am here almost 4 years after this and am doing ok. I still have pain in my leg - and some swelling in the calf. I have had one venogram this past April to go in and look at the stented area and they said everything looked great.

Good luck and let me know if you need any more info or just want to talk!

Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #12 by Diane
Posted: March 14, 2008 at 16:31

Were you informed that you will need a venogram every so often to check your stent. Could you explain exactly what a venogram is?

As you know I am now 3 years 4 months past my DVT, diagnosis of May-Thurner Syndrome, and insertion of my Boston Scientific Wallstent. No one has mentioned followup of any kind or the suggesion of a venogram.

Just wondering, Crystal, how often you see your vascular specialist for a discussion of your symptoms or a checkup. My Hematologist told me that my stent could be fine one day, but not the next day, so checkups don't help a whole lot. Yet your doc ordered a venogram for you after 3+ years. Again could you please explain that procedure to us.

Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #13 by Janinerenee
Posted: March 14, 2008 at 17:59
The Dr told me that I need to get a filter next week. Iam veryyy nervous about the pain putting it in.. after reading all this..
You are awake to put it in???? I have not been the the Vascular guy yet...I will see him next week. After 4 DVT's and about 8 different surgeries,hope I can handle putting in a filter:):)..
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #14 by Crystal
Posted: March 14, 2008 at 19:38

I had some swelling in the calf, and more pain than usual in my stented area. I went to the vascular (who I see about every 6 months for an ultrasound of the area) and showed him the swelling. He wanted to do the ultrasound like normal, and so we did. This ults technician squeezed my calf and did not get the expected flow he wanted to see. Also, he thought he saw an area of narrowing just below the stented area and was concerned that my vein was beginning to collapse just south of the stent. He decided he wanted to go into the vein to look around - and so we scheduled the venogram.

I believe they cut at the goin, go into the vein (i guess they puncture the iliac vein - which sounds dangerous too) and then look around in the vein/stented area.

We only did it because the ultrasound showed some further narrowing not on my old ones, and decreased flow at that time. He said there was nothing inside the vein that caused him concern.

Now, this is NOT the same doctor who did my surgery. I was in CA and now live in Baton Rouge. This doctor had never actully done a proceedure on me until then and I have been seeing him since 3 months post DVT.

He wants me to take an ultrasound every 6 mo - 1 year to document the flow. I like the idea since it gives me some sort of bench-mark. Also, I made them scan my right leg so we could watch the difference btw the two legs.

I hope that helps!
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #15 by Sharon
Posted: March 15, 2008 at 06:14
Janinerenee--It doesn't hurt. They gave me some IV drugs and I fell asleep and a couple minutes later it seemed they woke me up and asked me to turn over so they could work on the back of my knee to put the thrombolysis catheter in after the filter was placed.

Diane--A venogram is when they shoot dye into the vein to be able to see the clot--which shows up white against the dark dye. They punctured me behind the knee and watched the flow of the dye on a movie go thru the clot and they can also see the layers if there is old and new clot, or see if a vein is completely occluded.
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #16 by Janinerenee
Posted: March 15, 2008 at 15:57
Thanks all for the info...I will ask for DRUGGSSSS....lol
I do hope they are available! I don't like the sound of that Venogram. I hope I do not need one of those. Crystal, how do you like Baton Rouge? I live near Lafayette. I hope to start seeing dr's in Lafayette. Hope to have good results. Sharon did you keep the thromb catheter in for a while. The dr menioned something about the catheter and putting meds in a lil at a time....Hummm was not ready to hear about that stuff... I will need other opinons before I would even think ofhtat... Can you still get DVTS after all that is done? This is my 4th one, so maybe me clots are too old for the catheter stuff..
take care
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #17 by Sharon
Posted: March 16, 2008 at 04:51
The thrombolysis catheter will stay in for 24-48 hrs and usually you are in ICU during the process--should be anyway due to risk of bleeds. They often like to look at the occlusion w/ venogram before and after thrombolysis to see if they were successful in clearing the clot. If your clot is more than 10 days old, they ususally will not try to use thrombolysis--and yes, you can clot again after they do it and even if they clear it--I did it 3 times after they cleared it! If you have clotting disorders that trigger the clotting cascade after trauma to the vein (like FVL), I don't suggest thrombolysis. I think it stimulates clotting--but then, I'm not a doctor. However, I sure would ask the doc that question. Wish someone would've mentioned that to me.
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #18 by Diane
Posted: March 16, 2008 at 05:23
Crystal: Thanks for describing the circumstances that led you toward a venogram. I can see now why you had it 3+ years after your DVT. Have you had a chance to read the post I added today on our May-Thurner Forum? A very helpful man named Chad who works with interventional radiologists has given us some excellent information on stents, which I am positive will interest you.

Sharon: thanks for the definition of a venogram. I might have had one while hospitalized, but was so drugged up I may not have realized what it was called. Since all my clots were cleared with TPA during my hospitalization there was no discussion about addition testing in the future. Once discharged I have been pretty much on my own ever since except for the few visits that I initiated with a vascular surgeon and a hematologist to test for blood clotting disorders and to have my varicose veins collapses (yes, I am a glutton for punishment, but that was truly a piece of cake after everything else I've been through.) Two torn retinas following two cataract surgeries were worse that the DVT in some respects, but all has turned out well.
Re: Greenfield filter pain
Reply #19 by Jan
Posted: March 22, 2011 at 18:14
I had a Greenfield IVC Filter placed after a blood clot formed in my groin and the blood thinners made me bleed into my abdomen. The filter was placed by way of my jugular. One thing that is IMPORTANT that I only found out recently......two days after placing the filter they tried to give me an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). BUT, according to the manufacturer's (Boston Scientific) own observation of this filter , and MRI should NOT be given until at least 6 weeks after it is inserted, as the filter is slightly ferro-magnetic and may MOVE when an MRI is being done! It could change the placement or the hooks that go into the vein wall could move/tear. I did not have the MRI only because I was too big to fit into the machine tunnel (my abdomen bled so much that it filled up hard and round like a basketball, and that prevented me from being given the MRI. I only found out about the MRI risk AFTER I was home a month! I also have my filter still in place, becuase no one ever thought to take it out, and now it's too late. It'll be in forever. On another note, if your filter was placed thru your jugular vein then it will have to be removed through the femoral.
p.s. the STAINLESS STEEL Geenfield filter is what I have. They also make(made?) a Titanium Steel filter, but it used to be that metal tended to splay apart and pierce the vein walls and other organs after being inside a person after a while.
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