You have had a procedure to give you a tunneled catheter. The
catheter is a soft, flexible tube that runs under your skin from a vein in your
chest or neck to a large vein near your heart. You may have it for weeks,
months, or longer.
You will now be able to get medicine, blood,
nutrients, or other fluids with more comfort. You will not be stuck with a
needle every time.
You can use the catheter right away. You will
be shown how to use it and how to care for it.
You will probably have small
dressings where the doctor inserted the catheter and where it exits your body.
The area may feel sore for a few days.
The dressing where the
catheter was put in usually is taken off in 24 hours. If you have stitches
here, they will be removed in 10 to 14 days. The stitches where the catheter
exits your body will be removed in about 6 weeks. Sometimes glue is used
instead of stitches. The glue will fall off as you heal.
may be a small ring, or cuff, beneath the skin on the catheter. This helps hold
the catheter in place.
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
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 call line 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 911 anytime you think you may need
emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek
immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter D346 in the search box to learn more about "Tunneled Catheter: What to Expect at Home."
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.