A central venous catheter is an essential tool used during and after surgery to administer medications, treatments and nutrition to patients. Often times, doctors refer to this instrument as a central line because it is a tool inserted into the main veins in the chest. In some cases, patients may receive both a central venous catheter and an implanted port, so that each IV line is dedicated to a single function. For example, that means the line for your cancer medications will not interfere with your nutrition line.
During the placement procedure, the surgeon will insert the central venous catheter without making any incision on the chest. Once the line is inserted, it can be used immediately for infusion of nutrition or medications.
These are some of the reasons why patients may require a central line for treatment:
- Receive an extended dose of antibiotics or other medications (weeks to months)
- To deliver nutrition when the bowels fail
- For dialysis
- Can deliver cancer drugs
Sometimes, an implanted port may be placed where the catheter enters the body. This port is under the skin and allows the same treatment as the central venous catheter. It offers the convenience of more permanent IV access.
Not all patients need this procedure. Speak to a doctor at Florida Hospital to determine if a central venous catheter is part of your medical treatment. Schedule an appointment