Vascular catheterization, one of the most common medical procedures, explained by Dr Matthew Bogard
Vascular catheterization is a procedure which involves inserting a small flexible tube, called the catheter, into one of your blood vessels. Physician Dr. Matthew Bogard explains so that you can mentally prepare in case you require it.
Your doctor may ask you about any medications that you're taking or if you are suffering from any medical issues. The professional will discuss the procedure with you before starting. He or she will inspect your arm and legs to select a suitable site for inserting the catheter. Ideally the proceduralist will select a soft vein that does not show any signs of complication and rub an antibacterial solution on it to remove any germs present on your skin. You will feel a minor prick when the needle is inserted into your vein. You might also feel pressure in your vein when the catheter is inserted.
Medicines can't always be administered orally. Some medications can only be taken intravenously. Such cases necessitate vascular catheterization. Your doctor might also use it to take a blood sample from one of your veins.
Other uses of vascular catheterization include:
* Repeated blood tests. If you are suffering from a serious medical condition and the doctor needs to take out blood from your vein for blood tests very often, then they might use catheterization. That's because inserting needles in your veins very frequently is not a good idea. It will damage your veins and you will definitely not like getting pinched repeatedly when you're suffering from a disease.
* Dialysis. Vascular catheterization is used for kidney dialysis. It accesses your vein to remove impure blood, filter it and return it back into your bloodstream. This typically requires a large sized catheter inserted into a larger central vein.
* Administering antibiotics for a long time. Vascular catheterization is used for patients who need to take antibiotics for a long time. In these cases, as special catheter called a PICC is often utilized.
According to the different uses of vascular catheterization, there are three main types of catheters used by doctors. These include:
This type of catheter needs surgery to be inserted. It is usually used to treat cancer and is inserted into the chest. It is made up of a thin tube with a disc at the end. The tube is inserted below your skin along with the disc.
Tunneled Central Venous Catheter (CVC)
This type of catheter is inserted near the collarbone and it ends up near the heart. It is usually used during chemotherapy for cancer patients. It is also used for dialysis, blood transfusion, and extracting blood for screening.
Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC)
PICC is a special long catheter which is inserted in the arm and is guided to reach the blood vessels near the heart.
Now you know what vascular catheterization is and how it's done. Always ask your doctor how they will perform the procedure so that you can prepare yourself mentally.
*** Physician Matthew Bogard practices Emergency Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. During his training at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, he was selected to join the Advanced Rural Training Program, a four-year residency that trains physicians to provide comprehensive full-spectrum medical care. During his residency, Dr. Bogard served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, was active with the Nebraska Medical Association, mentored multiple medical students and was honored by the Nebraska Legislature as "Family Physician of the Day." Dr Matt Bogard primarily practices Emergency Medicine. Dr. Matt Bogard is Board Certified by the American Academy of Family Physicians and Board Eligible in Emergency Medicine.
Matthew Bogard, MD
Iowa & Nebraska