Central Venous Access

A Portacath under the skin of the chest of an elderly patient to provide central venous access for intravenous medications

Central Venous Access is used when a patient requires intravenous medications over a longer period of time, for example chemotherapy or haemodialysis treatments.

A long thin catheter is inserted into a vein in the arm, neck or chest, which extends from its entry point into a central vein near the heart. This larger central vein can tolerate the catheter for weeks and months, reducing the need for repeat injections and reducing infection risk.

There are several types of Central Venous Access Devices (CVAD), also known as Central Lines. A peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC) line is a catheter that is inserted in the arm. Tunnelled catheters, such as a Hickmann lines, are inserted through the neck or chest. A Portacath is a totally implanted device, usually placed just above the heart. All types are guided into place using imaging techniques such as X-Ray and ultrasound.

Dr Mark Regi is an expert in providing central venous access, such as PICC line, for a wide range of treatments.