Safety and efficacy of intravascular ultrasound-guided inferior vena cava filter in super obese bariatric patients

Clark M Kardys, Michael C Stoner, Mark L Manwaring, Michael Barker, Kenneth G Macdonald, John R Pender, William H Chapman
Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 2008, 4 (1): 50-4

BACKGROUND: The morbidly obese (body mass index >40 kg/m(2)) are at significant risk of postoperative venous thromboembolism (VTE). Pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of death after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, approximating .5%. Because of the technical limitations with fluoroscopy and table weight limits, it has been our practice at our university-based bariatric center to offer intravascular ultrasound (IVUS)-guided inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) placement at Roux-en-Y gastric bypass to patients with a history of VTE, hypercoagulable state, or profound immobility.

METHODS: The hospital and outpatient records of all 594 patients who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass from January 1, 2004 to October 31, 2006 were reviewed. The patients who had undergone concurrent IVUS-guided IVCF placement were selected. The co-morbidities, outcomes, and complications were recorded.

RESULTS: Of the 594 patients, 31 (mean body mass index 71.2 +/- 2.96 kg/m(2)) had undergone concurrent IVUS-guided IVCF placement. The indications included a history of VTE (n = 5), a known hypercoagulable state (n = 2), and profound immobility (n = 25). The technical success rate was 96.8%. One filter was malpositioned in the iliac vein. No catheter site complications occurred. A ventilation/perfusion scan and computed tomography scan each detected pulmonary embolism in 2 surviving patients within 2 months postoperatively. Two patients died, 1 on postoperative day 8 and 1 on postoperative day 15 (6.4%). The mean follow-up time was 262.8 +/- 37.3 days. Autopsy excluded VTE or IVCF-related issues as the cause of death in both patients.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest the efficacy of IVUS-guided IVCF placement in preventing mortality from pulmonary embolism in high-risk bariatric patients. IVUS-guided IVCF placement can be safely performed with an excellent success rate in high-risk patients who would not otherwise be candidates for intervention because of the technical limitations of fluoroscopy.

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