Tunneled PICC Lines

A tunneled PICC line is a PICC line placed through a small incision on the chest wall below the collar bone, tunneled under the skin and placed into a large vein in the chest through a vein in a patient’s neck. These catheters are used any time a patient needs long term IV access and can allow a patient to receive IV medication and fluids either in the hospital or at home. Patients who will need veins in their arm for dialysis or don’t have any veins in their arm suitable for PICC line insertion are good candidates for tunneled PICC placement.

What should I expect?

The procedure to place a tunneled catheter typically takes less than an hour. A combination of local anesthesia and sedation is used for patient comfort. Patients typically leave the hospital 1-2 hours after the procedure. You will have 2 small incisions, one on the neck and one on the chest.

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