If your doctor has recommended a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC), it means they need to deliver medications and other treatments directly to your bloodstream. The I-Vascular Center team of experts recommends the PICC line placement in El Paso when your treatment plan requires frequent needle sticks for medications, or you need recurrent blood draws. This allows your provider to draw blood samples and inject medications into the septum many times as required but with minor discomfort. Here is more information to help you understand this technique and how it can help you.

What it Is

A PICC line is a long, flexible, and soft tube inserted through a vein in your upper arm, through the more prominent veins around your heart. Though rarely, the tube can also be inserted through your legs. It allows your provider to access the large central vein around your heart to administer medications and liquid nutrition. It is usually intended to be temporary and can last up to several weeks based on your treatment. The PICC line helps minimize the risk of irritation to your smaller veins and avoid pain caused by frequent needle sticks.

The PICC technique requires expertise as it needs careful care and monitoring to detect complications such as blood clots and infections. It is vital to discuss anything of concern with your provider and be keen when selecting the provider.

Reasons for a PICC Line

As mentioned earlier, the main reason for a PICC line is to deliver intravenous therapy. This is done when your treatment plan involves regular needle sticks or blood draws. In most cases, a PICC line is recommended for the following reasons:

  •       Cancer treatment to deliver chemotherapy and other targeted therapy drugs
  •       To deliver minerals and vitamins directly to your body when it cannot directly process the nutrients from food due to digestive issues
  •       To deliver antifungal medicines and antibiotics to manage infections
  •       To deliver other medications that can irritate your small veins

However, the PICC line can also be used for other purposes such as blood transfusion, blood draws, and delivering contrast material before imaging tests.

How to Prepare for Your PICC Line Placement

If your provider recommends a PICC line, they will provide you with special instructions for your preparations. Also, your provider will perform several tests and discuss your health conditions to evaluate your viability and assess your risk for complications. A blood test can be taken to ensure you have enough platelets to minimize bleeding risks. Imaging tests can also create a clear view of the veins to help your provider plan the procedure. If you have had complications around your upper arms or chest, such as serious injuries or had undergone a mastectomy, it would be good to discuss it with your provider.

What You Can Expect

The PICC line placement procedure generally takes about an hour and can be either outpatient or inpatient, depending on your needs. Your provider will choose a suitable vein during the procedure and insert a needle to guide the line. A numbing agent is used to lessen discomfort. Ultrasound or x-ray can also guide the insertion and confirm the correct location of the catheter.

You might experience some tenderness after the procedure, which should go away within no time. Your provider will also give you special instructions on the PICC line protection, care, and covers. The line is kept in place as long as necessary, and it will be removed when treatment is completed.

If you feel you can benefit from the PICC line, reach out to I-Vascular Center providers today to learn more about this technique and learn how it can benefit you. Equip yourself with all the questions you might need clarifications on and discuss your medical history with your provider.

Author's Bio: 

Parker is a full-time writer and contributor to various amazing websites and blogs. You can contact him on parkershown99@gmail.com