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You have had a procedure to give you an access device or a tunnelled central venous catheter. You may also hear it called a Broviac, a Hickman, or a central line. There may be 1, 2, or 3 external lines (or lumens) available to use. There is a small cuff beneath your skin on the central line to help keep the line in place. You will now be able to get medicine, blood, nutrients, or other fluids with more comfort. You won't have to be stuck by a needle every time. For some people, blood for lab tests can be drawn from the access device.
You will have an incision. It will leave a scar that fades with time. The site may be sore for a day or two. You may need to take 1 or 2 days off from work. You may have this access device for weeks or months.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Adaptation Date: 5/16/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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