Interventional Radiology

IVC Filter Clinic

Offering Patient Consults, Scheduling, Coordination, Follow Up, and Education


An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is a medical device inserted for the prevention of pulmonary embolism (PE). Many patients have received a retrievable IVC filter for temporary prevention of PE. When the filter is no longer needed, prompt removal is desired to avoid long-term complications. For some patients, standard retrieval methods fail to achieve filter removal. For these patients, the Stanford Division of Vascular and Interventional Radiology has pioneered new endovascular methods to retrieve a variety of IVC filters, regardless of implantation length, which have become embedded within the IVC.

Dr. William Kuo, Director of Stanford IVC Filter Clinic

Dr. William T. Kuo, MD
Director, Stanford IVC Filter Clinic

Using these cutting-edge techniques, we have successfully removed embedded IVC filters in many patients from around the country. Since each complex filter case presents with a unique set of challenges, we believe the treatment must be meticulously planned and personalized to fit each patient. We invite you to explore your treatment options at Stanford IR, and we look forward to managing any issues related to your IVC filter.

Excimer laser-assisted removal of embedded IVC filters: a single-center prospective study. Kuo WT, Odegaard JI, Rosenberg JK, Hofmann LV. Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions. 2013; 6: 560-566.

Venatech LGM filter retrieval 16 years after implantation: Piecemeal Removal by Intentional Mechanical Fracture. Kuo WT, Deso SE, Robertson SW. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013; 24: 1731-1737.

Complex retrieval of fractured, embedded, and penetrating IVC filters: a prospective study with histologic and electron microscopic analysis Kuo WT, Robertson SW, Odegaard JI, Hofmann LV. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013; 24: 622-630.

Complex retrieval of embedded IVC filters: alternative techniques and histologic tissue analysis. Kuo WT, Cupp JS, Louie JD, Kothary N, Hofmann LV, Sze DY, Hovsepian DM. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2012; 35 (3): 588-97.

Photothermal ablation with the excimer laser sheath technique for embedded inferior vena cava filter removal: initial results from a prospective study. Kuo WT, Odegaard JI, Louie JD, Sze DY, Unver K, Kothary N, Rosenberg JK, Hovsepian DM, Hwang GL, Hofmann LV. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2011; 22 (6): 813-23.

High-risk retrieval of adherent and chronically implanted IVC filters: techniques for removal and management of procedural thrombotic complications. Kuo WT, Tong RT, Hwang GL, Louie JD, Lebowitz EA, Sze DY, Hofmann LV. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. December 2009, Vol. 20; 1548-1556.

Wire loop methods for retrieval of trapped inferior vena cava filters: 10-Fr versus 16-Fr sheath technique. Kuo WT, Kee ST. [Letter] Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. June 2008, Vol. 19, pp 956-957.

Emergency retrieval of a G2 filter after complete migration into the right ventricle. Kuo WT, Loh CT, Sze DY. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. September 2007, Vol. 18, pp 1177-1182.

Retrieval of trapped Günther Tulip inferior vena cava filters: snare over guidewire loop technique. Kuo WT, Bostaph AS, Loh CT, Frisoli JK, Kee ST. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. November 2006, Vol. 17, pp 1845-1849.

Ongoing Studies

Stanford Filter Registry

Press Releases


Patient Testimonials

"Dr. Kuo,

Today is my 28th birthday, and I just wanted to drop you an email to thank you for removing my IVC filter.

As I told you when I first met with you at the clinic, my goal for that trip to California was to go home with a photo of me standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, filter-free.

Since that August 2013 trip to Stanford, I have also made my first trip to New York City, a trip with my family, and a trip to Cabo with my best friend. I would not have been able to do any of this before you removed my filter. I am able to play golf again, and have been taking weekly lessons since December, making up for all the golfing I missed because of the pain from my perforated IVC filter. I just played in a tournament on April 21st, and I won ladies’ longest drive. In all honesty, that was probably more luck than skill on my part, but I tell you this because prior to my filter removal, I couldn’t even swing a club.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only have you lengthened my life, you have raised the quality of my life to a level I had never imagined.

I wore a medical alert bracelet for all of my seven years on blood thinner, and I have now replaced it with a bracelet that is engraved with “VIII.IX.MMXIII.” August 9, 2013, the day you changed my life by removing my filter. I wear it every single day.

The work you are doing at Stanford is invaluable. Thank you for your great mind, your genuineness, and your passion. "

"Dr. Kuo has redefined the word “permanent.” Seven years ago an inferior vena cava (ivc) filter was inserted into my body. It was considered a permanent filter and I was originally told it could not be taken out. After a few years, I started to feel sharp chest pains and few other unusual symptoms. I knew something was wrong. I contacted Dr. Kuo and upon further diagnostic tests it was evident that it needed to be removed. My life depended on it.

Dr. Kuo’s demeanor and bedside manner were the best I have ever experienced and more importantly was his stellar performance and skill in successfully removing the filter near my heart. I no longer experience the painful symptoms I had prior to the procedure and the high risk factors of the permanent filter are now gone.

My endless gratitude for Dr. Kuo's expertise and determination will last a lifetime. Dr. Kuo is truly a pioneer in the field of modern medicine. Thank you Dr. Kuo! "
"Dr. Kuo is a kind Man with an A Bedside manor. He genuinely cares about his patients. He called me up one Saturday after my local Radiologist referred me to him. I felt immediately comfortable as there was no clock ticking. He took all the time necessary to explain his technique and he answered all my questions. I flew out to San Jose to go to his clinic. I saw him the same day and he went over everything one more time. The following day I went under the Laser. I had total confidence in this Man, and his well trained staff made my experience that much more enjoyable. I was released the same day and walked out of the clinic less one Tulip filter which he removed with the greatest of ease. I would highly recommend Dr. Kuo and his staff to anyone and would not hesitate to use him again. It's easy to see why he has won the awards that he holds. Thank you so very much Dr. Kuo and the wonderful people who work alongside of you. "
"I do not know how to ever thank you for helping me. I am so grateful to have found you, with such knowledge, experience, talent and kindness. I feel like you saved my life. I was so scared that something bad would happen if that filter stayed in my vena cava. You are truly the best of the best, and I will always be grateful to you for getting this filter out. "
"This morning, I ran 13.1 miles in the Brooklyn Half Marathon in 2 hours and 20 minutes! This would not have been possible without your help! Thank you so much!!! "
"I can't thank you enough for being not only an amazingly skilled doctor but also a compassionate and caring individual. Your follow through is nothing short of remarkable. I take great comfort in knowing others will get to have the same experience I did."
"It has been a year after the surgery, and I am doing well thanks to you. I am off the anticoagulants which enabled me to resume my Karate training. I was able to pass my Sandan (3rd degree black belt) test thanks to you."
"Dr. Kuo is pure genius. No one else would even try to remove my IVC filter since it was considered irremovable. His technique is pure genius. Also, he is a very caring, kind individual. I traveled 3000 miles and it was worth the trip."
"Dr. Kuo took out my filter that was in place for a couple years. My local doctor was unable to do the job. Dr. Kuo is top notch in my book:)"
"Words cannot express the gratitiude I have for Dr. Kuo. He not only excels in his expertise, knowledge and skills, but his poise, mannerism, caring, politeness and relationship with patient and family is truly an art in medicine."
"Please pass along my GREAT THANKS to Dr Kuo. I have experienced immediate relief from my chronic abdominal pain. I no longer feel that my internal organs are being strangled. Amazing really, that it was diagnosed so efficiently and resolved so handily by Dr Kuo and his team. For that, my family and I are eternally grateful."
"I feel like a new man. I can exercise, like before my accident, and no cramps. Hallelujah."
"There are no problems. I feel physically fine and mentally much improved and worry-free. Some of the discomfort at hip level I had been blaming on hips I now think was partly pressure from the filter because that feeling of pressure is gone. It was awesome how you people made things work out."

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