John Boehmer is a man from Quebec who was implanted with a temporary IVC filter after a surgical procedure. When surgeons tried to remove it eight months later, they discovered serious complications.
The filter had perforated through his blood vessel and one of its needle-like legs had nearly punctured his pancreas. Due to the risk of causing more serious health problems, Boehmer was told it could not be removed.
CTV News interviewed him in August, just weeks after Health Canada warned about serious complications when IVC filters are implanted for more than 30 days.
Soon after the interview, Boehmer was contacted by Dr. Adnan Hadziomerovic, an interventional radiologist in Ottawa who has removed hundreds of IVC filters.
The procedure to remove a broken IVC filter is very risky. Catheters are inserted above the filter through a vein in the neck, and below the filter through a vein in the groin. Then the surgeon must hook onto the filter, lasso the bent prongs, and pull the filter out of the body intact.
Fortunately, the 45-minute procedure was successful. Boehmer told CTV News he was “very much relieved” to see it in a glass bottle. He said:
The source of all this, as far as I’m concerned, is the manufacturer. The device was supposed to be retrievable. It wasn’t. What’s your backup plan?”
Boehmer was lucky because his filter was bent but not broken. When the needle-like legs of an IVC filter break off, they can travel in the bloodstream and get stuck in the heart, lungs, or major blood vessels.
Over 2,000 lawsuits lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured by IVC filters. Many victims have broken pieces of the filter permanently embedded in their body because it is too risky to remove. They face a lifetime of uncertainty and serious health risks, such as cardiac perforation, irregular heart rhythm, and death.
Source: CTV News