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Vena Cava Filter

One of the most dangerous things that can happen after the surgery is the development of blood clots in the lower section of your body. This usually occurs due to the length of time it takes to recover from the operation. Lying around not moving about can cause the blood in your legs to clot. If the blood clot moves there is a risk that it could end up in the heart, lungs or many other places. But no matter where it goes it won't be good, unless you have a filter. I guess this makes me have something in common with a coffee pot. We both have filters!

The Greenfield Vena Cava Filter is a small metal device designed to protect against a life threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. The filter is permanently implanted in a large vein, called the vena cava. The filter has six legs that are joined together at the top forming a cone. This unique shape allows the filter to effectively protect against embolisms while allowing blood to flow through it.

I went into the hospital as an Out Patient and the procedure was done with only a local anesthetic. Being awake and alert I was able to watch the procedure on the monitors. After putting some dye in my blood the surgeon sliced into the main vein in the groin. Then placing a long device into the vein I watched as the filter moved up toward the heart. After nearing the heart the doctor backed up a little then deployed the filter. A little tug to anchor its hooked legs into the wall of the Vena Cava and retract the installation device and it was all over except for the bleeding! Not having prior knowledge of this type of surgical procedure, it looked to me as though I was bleeding to death. The nurse told me that it wasn't really as much blood as it looked like. Maybe so, I just closed my eyes for a while.

Now there are no stitches to close up the incision. You just hold pressure for a while (more than 10 min it seemed) and your good as new. But you are not allowed to move for about 4 hours just in case.

The funny part about this is I met a pretty nurse who just couldn't take her hands away from between my legs! Ha Ha! She joked with me about that while she stood there applying pressure to the incision site at my groin.

Now I am getting closer to the actual gastric bypass surgery. The next step is an Endoscopy of the upper GI tract...

My Story:(Section FOUR)

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