Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters, first introduced in the late 1960s, have been used by physicians to prevent pulmonary embolism in high risk patients who are contraindicated for anticoagulation therapy. To this day, IVC filters are still being used as permanent implants with a high degree of success, The Simon Nitinol Filter, for example, has been used with very few reported complications since its introduction in the early 1990s. The introduction of an optional retrievable IVC filter over the last few years has changed the medical landscape. These newer IVC filters types are more practical for trauma and bariatric patients who only have a temporary need for such a device. Retrievable IVC filters have been very successful in the medical industry – by targeting a new population of patients, many medical device companies have tripled their sales to the tune of approximately $300 million per year. Unfortunately, over 85% of these “retrievable” IVC filters have never been actually retrieved. This is due to the fact that they were sold to patients as a permanent filter – the retrievable aspect of the IVC filter was only marketed as a “feature.”

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