Pulmonary Embolism - Other Treatment
Some people cannot take
anticoagulant medicines, or they continue to develop blood clots despite taking
the medicines. If surgery or medicines are not options, other methods of
pulmonary embolism may be considered, such as a vena
Other treatment choices
vena cava filter may be inserted in the large central
vein that passes through the abdomen and returns blood from the body to the
heart (vena cava). This filter can prevent blood clots in the leg or pelvic
veins from traveling to the lungs and heart. These filters may be permanent or
What to think about
Vena cava filters aren't
typically recommended as the first treatment for pulmonary embolism. But they may be
considered if you:
- Continue to have pulmonary embolism despite
taking anticoagulant medicine.
- Cannot take anticoagulants because
of bleeding risk.
- Have an increased risk of death or a severely
restricted lifestyle should another pulmonary embolism occur.
Vena cava filters may benefit people who have had a
clot removed (embolectomy), or if another pulmonary
embolism would likely be fatal or severely limit a person's lifestyle.
Vena cava filters can cause serious health problems if they break or become
blocked with one or more blood clots.
Vena cava filters have not
been shown to lower the death rate in people with pulmonary embolism.3