Carrollton Vascular Treatment
PICC line Placement and Removal
When IV access is needed for more than a few weeks, but generally not more than 6-8 weeks, a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line can be placed. This is just a long IV catheter that begins in the upper part of the arm and extends into a large central vein in the chest. Like a port, it is also placed with ultrasound and fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays). This allows the tip of the catheter to placed precisely in the right location. Medicine can then be delivered into a large blood volume in a central vein so that any potential irritation caused by the medicine can be minimized. This is typically needed when you need medical treatment over an extended period of time. The PICC line with need to be cleaned and cared for after placement to prevent an infection. When it is no longer needed, we can safely remove it.
Port Placement and Removal
When someone needs to receive chemotherapy or other long term infusions of blood, nutrition, or antibiotics, most of the time a port is the best option. A port is a small plastic or metallic chamber implanted under the skin, normally in the upper part of the chest. It has a small catheter attached that is tunneled a short distance under the skin to where it enters a vein in the neck and then extends to a large vein in the chest. This allows medicine to be delivered into a large vein without the potential for irritation or damage that could occur if it were delivered into a vein in the arm. At North Texas Interventional Radiology, we use ultrasound and fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) for accurate placement of ports and all vascular access devices. Absorbable sutures are also used so that there is no need for additional appointments for suture removal. The port can stay in indefinitely, but may also be removed if it is no longer needed.
Hickman Catheter Placement and Removal
A Hickman catheter is a tunneled catheter and is used in much the same manner as a port. It is for longer term use than a PICC line, but is not intended to be potentially permanent like a port. It is slightly larger than a PICC line and is placed in the upper chest in a similar manner to a port. The difference is that the end of a Hickman catheter extends out of the chest wall. Like a port, it is also placed with ultrasound and fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) so that tip of the catheter can be placed in just the right location. When it is no longer needed, we can safely remove it.