Vascular Access Surgery
What Is Vascular Access Surgery?
Some patients need frequent access directly to the bloodstream for delivering medications, nutrition, or drawing blood. An intravenous line (IV) is effective for short-term use, but not for long-term. A vascular access procedure inserts a small, flexible tube (central venous catheter) into a blood vessel allowing direct access to the bloodstream. Typically, the catheter is inserted through the skin into a vein, usually the chest or neck, but it can be placed into the groin or arm. This catheter can remain in place temporarily or for weeks and even years if necessary.
Problems can arise from repeatedly administering strong medications through small veins with regular IV lines, such as irritation of the vein or blood clots. A vascular access device can help patients avoid inflammation, scarring, and blood clots, as well as increase comfort and reduce anxiety from multiple punctures.
Why is Vascular Access Surgery Performed?
Vascular access procedures are performed for:
- Hemodialysis (kidney failure treatment that filters the blood outside of the body)
- Medication administration – antibiotics, chemotherapy, or other IV drugs
- Long-term intravenous (IV) feeding for nutritional support
- Repeated drawing of blood samples
- Blood transfusions
- Patients who can’t maintain an IV line
What are the Risks of a Vascular Access Device?
Problems that can occur during or after placement of a vascular access device include the following:
- Pneumothorax – Collapse of the lung because of injury from the needle
- Hemothorax – Bleeding into the chest because of injury to the blood vessels
- Cellulitis – Infection of the skin around the catheter or port
- Catheter infection – infection of the device itself inside the vein
- Sepsis – Release of bacteria into the bloodstream from the device
- Mechanical problems – A device breaks or does not function properly
- Venous thrombosis – A blood clot inside the vein
- Endocarditis – Bacteria or fungi from the device travel through the bloodstream to the heart valves, where they form an infection that can destroy the valve
If you need a vascular access device, the surgeons at Central Valley Surgical Specialists are highly skilled at performing vascular access surgery!
It is our goal at Central Valley Surgical Specialists to bring the highest quality surgical care closer to home through innovation and collaboration.
8307 Brimhall Road Suite 1706
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Monday - Friday: 8am – 5pm