HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE PROCEDURE?
You will receive instructions from staff at the interventional radiologist's office at least a day before the procedure. You may have blood drawn for pre-procedure testing at either the hospital or a local clinic. Staff will advise you if changes in your regular medication schedule are necessary. You will be asked to fast from eating or drinking anything for at least 6 hours prior to the procedure. Make sure someone will be available to drive you home afterwards.
HOW DOES THE PROCEDURE WORK?
The non-tunneled catheter is a temporary catheter that is typically inserted into the internal jugular vein in the neck or the subclavian vein just below the collarbone. The tip of the catheter lies in the large vein that returns blood to the heart. This type of catheter is the best choice when a patient is likely to need a temporary central line catheter. It is secure and easy to access.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PREFORMED?
For a non-tunnel catheter, the radiologist will insert a dual lumen catheter with two ports which will be outside of the skin. A small bandage is placed over the sites and the catheter soon is ready to use.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE DURING THE PROCEDURE?
You will lie on your back during the procedure. The local anesthetic may burn for a short time before it takes effect. You may feel some pressure or brief discomfort when the needle is placed into the vein. You will have to lay flat and hold your arm still for about 30 to 45 minutes during the catheter placement. From time to time you may be asked to move your arm or wrist to help the catheter pass through the vein.
About one hour or less is needed in the recovery room after a vascular access procedure. When discharged, you should rest at home for the remainder of the day and may resume your usual activities the following day, but should avoid lifting heavy objects. After having a catheter placed you may experience some bruising, swelling, and tenderness in the chest, neck, or shoulder, but these symptoms resolve over about five days. Pain medication may help during this time. This catheter may remain in place for one to two weeks. Flushing the catheter at a stated interval with a heparin flush solution may help keep blood clots from forming and obstructing the catheter.