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A tunnelled catheter is a soft, flexible tube that runs under your skin. The tube enters from a vein in your chest, neck, or groin and is threaded into to a large vein near your heart. One end of the tube stays outside the body. This catheter is a type of central venous line. You may have it for weeks, months, or longer.
You can get medicine, blood products, nutrients, or fluids through the catheter, which makes it more comfortable for you because you do not need to be poked with a needle every time. The catheter may also be used to draw blood for tests only if another vein, such as in the hand or arm, can't be used.
Your doctor may give you medicine to make you sleep or feel relaxed. Two small cuts (incisions) are made in your body. Your doctor will thread the catheter into a vein.
After the procedure, you will probably have small bandages where the doctor put in the tube and where it comes out of your body. The area may feel sore for a few days. You may have stitches. Sometimes glue is used instead of stitches.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Adaptation Date: 2/23/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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