What to Expect When Getting a Central Line or Implanted Port

What to Expect When Getting a Central Line or Implanted Port
Continuing on from my last column on what to expect when having different venous access procedures, I’ll share information about central catheters and implanted ports. Central catheters Central catheters are an efficient means of venous access for people who need stronger medications for 29 days or less. Typically, these are used in hospitals for procedures and hospital stays. Interventional radiologists or anesthesiologists usually put these in. I have had four central lines. Firstly, placing a central line needs to be done in a very sterile environment. Most often, a doctor prefers to give medications to relax or sedate the patient, but the procedure can be done without them. In my experience, it hasn't been that bad. Like the procedure for peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines, a patient lies on a table to be draped in a sterile field. The doctor uses a special scanner to find the vein to place the catheter. Usually, central lines are placed in the jugular vein in the neck, but they also can be placed in the upper chest's subclavian vein or the femoral vein by the groin. Once the vein is located, the skin around the area is cleaned and prepped. The table the patient lies on is lowered at the head to enlarge the veins. The only pain is from the initial shots that numb the area. After that, all a patient should feel is pressure. When the procedure is finished, the doctor will put a dressing around the external lumens to protect from germs and to support the line. Taking care of central lines is important. It is very similar to the care for midlines and PICC lines. Implanted ports Implanted ports are unlike other venous access strategies that I’ve discussed. This isn’t a procedure, but rather a minor surgery. A port is a
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