There are many potential risks inherent with any surgical procedure, these may include infection, allergic reaction, and mobility issues. A surgical procedure may also result in some secondary risks of spending time in a medical facility. These, of course, depend upon the health of the patient. One issue with medical devices like this one is that those sick enough to need the IVC may be too sick to undergo surgery. In these cases, a blood-thinning medication may be prescribed to the patient to minimize their risk of a pulmonary embolism until he/she is well enough to undergo the surgery.
Of course, taking blood thinners is also potentially dangerous as many elderly patients may have thin skin or be prone to falling – both of which can result in great blood loss in the event of a scratch or fall.
It is important to discuss with the doctor different risks with having or not having the surgical filter placement and weighing these before making an informed decision. If you are ever feeling pressured by your doctor into something with which you are uncomfortable, it is perfectly reasonable to seek a second opinion or ask difficult question.