A vascular access procedure is designed for patients who need intravenous (IV) access for a considerable time, longer than seven to 10 days. A simple IV is effective in the short term but is far from ideal when, for instance, a patient needs a course of chemotherapy, several weeks of IV antibiotic treatment or long-term IV feeding. Some patients have veins that make it difficult to place an IV and those patients may benefit from a vascular access placement.
A vascular access catheter is a long, thin tube that is placed in a vein in the arm, in the neck or in the chest just beneath the collarbone. The tube is then threaded into a major vein in the middle of the chest. In many conditions, having this type of tube inserted provides a simple and painless means of drawing blood, or delivering drugs, nutrients or both. This also spares the patient the discomfort and stress of repeated needle sticks. These so-called central catheters can remain in place for weeks, months or even years.
The physicians and physicians assistants with San Diego Imaging can perform Vascular Access procedures in our comfortable and convenient outpatient center in Kearny Mesa. They also provide these services at various hospital partners.