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An IVC filter is a device inserted in the main vein leading from the legs to the heart. It is designed to trap blood clots that dislodge from veins in the legs that would otherwise cause a pulmonary embolism. Most commonly, IVC filters are inserted if someone is not a candidate for a blood thinner or continues to have blood clots in spite of being treated with blood thinners.
Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT) is a minimally invasive treatment that actively removes blood clots from the deep veins. Special instruments that can dissolve and remove clots are inserted under imaging guidance through tiny holes in the veins. CDT can rapidly improve the pain and swelling associated with the DVT and may prevent the post-thrombotic syndrome.