Efficacy and safety of pre-operative insertion of inferior vena cava filter in patients undergoing bariatric surgery: a systematic review

J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2022 Oct;54(3):502-523. doi: 10.1007/s11239-022-02689-3. Epub 2022 Aug 12.


Prophylactic placement of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters prior to performing bariatric surgery is an intervention of unclear safety and efficacy with disagreement between current practice guidelines. To better characterize the risk and benefit of IVC filter insertion prior to bariatric surgery based on the current evidence. A systematic review of the literature of patients with prophylactic IVC filter insertion prior to bariatric surgery was performed and 32 studies were identified for inclusion into the review, of which none were randomized controlled trials. Meta-analysis was performed including the high-quality included studies. Seven high quality studies reported thrombotic events in patients undergoing bariatric surgery who had an IVCF and a control group which allowed for meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratio of venous thrombotic events in the IVC filter population versus the group without IVC filters was 1.57 (95%CI 0.89, 2.76). Among high quality studies 5 reported major bleeding with a rate of 0.76% and 6 reported on IVC filter complications with a rate of 0.67%. Overall no significant reduction in the rate of venous thrombosis was found with prophylactic IVC filter insertion. Use of IVC filters for prophylaxis remains a concern given the lack of clear efficacy in this setting and a small but present complication risk.

Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Meta-analysis; Systematic review; Thrombosis; Vena cava filters.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Preoperative Care* / adverse effects
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Pulmonary Embolism / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vena Cava Filters* / adverse effects
  • Vena Cava, Inferior
  • Venous Thrombosis* / etiology
  • Venous Thrombosis* / prevention & control