Vascular access procedures involve the insertion of a catheter into a blood vessel to provide a painless way of drawing blood or delivering drugs or nutrients over a period time. Special X-rays are used to guide the placement of the catheter into the blood vessel. Vascular access procedures are performed when patients need:
Unlike the catheter used in a standard IV line, a vascular access catheter is more durable and does not easily become blocked or infected. Vascular access catheters are designed to extend into the largest central vein near the heart. We perform vascular access procedures to insert these major types of catheters:
Vascular access procedures usually are done on an outpatient basis. You should plan to have someone drive you home after your procedure is complete.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your exam. You should arrive two hours before your procedure so that we can do the necessary lab work to determine how well your kidneys function and how well your blood clots.
Bring a list of medications that you are currently taking and a list of any allergies. If you think you may be pregnant, inform the nurse or technologist immediately.
Your nurse will place an IV in your hand or upper arm in case any medication or sedation is necessary during your procedure. A specially-trained interventional radiologist will use an ultrasound to determine which vein the catheter will be placed into. You will be lying flat or slightly elevated during the procedure. Once the vein is identified, the site where the catheter will be placed will be sterilized and draped with a sterile cover. A nurse will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure during the procedure.
You will be asked if you would like sedation during the procedure to make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Your doctor will make a small cut (incision) on your body and insert the catheter through the incision into the vein. You may feel some pressure during the procedure while the catheter is being inserted.
After the procedure, you will have to lie flat for at least 30 to 45 minutes while you continue to be monitored by a nurse. You may experience some bruising, tenderness or swelling. Once you are ready to go home, your nurse will give you instructions on how to care for your catheter
The radiologist who performed your vascular access procedure will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care or referring physician, who will share the results with you.
Your physician will contact us to schedule your vascular access procedure for you.
If your vascular access procedure will be performed at Emory Decatur Hospital, you will go to the hospital’s central registration area.
If your vascular access procedure is being performed at Emory Hillandale Hospital, go to the hospital’s registration area.