Non-tunneled central catheter—It is inserted in a large vein in the neck or leg; the tube end is outside of the skin.
Tunneled central catheter—It is inserted in the neck vein and tunneled under the skin. The end of the catheter is sticking out from under the skin, usually below the collarbone.
Port catheter—It is inserted in a shoulder or neck vein. The port is under the skin, and the catheter is tunneled into the central vein. The port is accessed by putting a needle through the skin directly into the port.
Veins in the Arm
A peripherally inserted central catheter is threaded through a vein in the arm.
This procedure may be done while you are in the hospital as part of your treatment or in an outpatient setting. If you are already in the hospital for another reason, this procedure is unlikely to extend your stay.
Having a catheter inserted increases your risk of a bloodstream infection. The hospital staff will begin the procedure by following steps to reduce this risk.
The procedure may differ depending on the type of catheter and the insertion site. In general, the staff will:
Give you an anesthetic.
Make a small incision.
or ultrasound to guide a wire into the vein.
Before inserting the catheter, cut it to the correct length. Flush the catheter with salt water.
Insert the catheter using the guide wire. Then, remove the wire.
Use sutures or tape to secure the catheter line. Place caps on the end of the catheter.
Cover the insertion site with a bandage. Write the date of the insertion on or near the bandage.
If you have a port inserted, a small pocket for the port will be created under your skin. The incision will be closed over the pocket, usually with dissolving sutures.
This procedure is most commonly done in a hospital setting because it is needed for your treatment. The length of stay will depend on the reason you need the central catheter. If you are an outpatient receiving treatment through your central catheter, you may be sent home the same day as the procedure.
Central venous catheter. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
FAQs: Catheter-associated bloodstream infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed August 8, 2013.
Vascular access procedures. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated August 5, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.