Central Venous Catheter Access is a minor procedure. A catheter is placed through the skin in the neck, upper chest or arm and guided into a large vein in the body. This allows the doctor direct access to the circulatory system.
The most common reason for this procedure is to allow medication to be given directly into the venous system for several weeks or months. With a Central Venous Catheter the nurses can give the patient their medications without sticking the patient with any more needles. A patient having Dialysis treatments will need access to their circulation system so that the blood can be filtered and then returned through this Central Venous Catheter.
In the hospital's Radiology Department the patient will change into a gown. The Nurse will explain what is going to happen and ask you some medical history questions. Once you are on the exam table the access site will be cleaned and prepped with sterile soap. The doctor will use an Ultrasound machine to locate the vein and then numb your skin with medication. Using a very small needle the doctor will gain access to the vein. Through a series of exchanges the Central Venous Access catheter will be placed into the vein with the tip in your Central or Main (large) vein. Once this is in place the catheter will be flushed and a sterile dressing applied at the skin site. You will be given instructions and allowed to go home.
Generally this procedure is not painful. You may feel a bee sting when the doctor numbs your skin at the access site.
Normally you can get back to your normal activity that evening. The doctor or nurse will let you know for sure.
The doctor will be able to tell you and your family the results as soon as the procedure is finished.