Vascular Access Surgery

Vascular access surgery is something many people are unfamiliar with, but it is an important procedure designed for patients who are in need of intravenous (IV) access for a long period of time. This type of surgery is minimally invasive and ideal for patients who are in need of an IV for more than 10 days to two weeks. While a short-term IV is ideal in some scenarios, many patients require a more advanced setup in order to receive the care and attention they need. A vascular access catheter is a long, thin tube that is inserted into a vein in the arm, neck, or below the collarbone. Once it is in place, the tube is attached to one of the main veins in the chest. This is a painless procedure that allows our nursing and surgical staff to draw blood, deliver nutrients, antibiotics, or other drugs in a more streamlined manner.

The intention of vascular access surgery is to insert the catheter so that the patient does not have to experience pain or discomfort with multiple needle sticks on a regular basis. With a vascular access catheter in place, the patient will be able to receive everything they need for anywhere from a few weeks to months. This is a relatively straightforward - yet important - procedure that we perform on a wide range of patients here at Surgical Associates of Mansfield.

What Can I Expect?

As mentioned, this procedure is designed for patients who are in need of a long-term solution for medication or nutritional substances. While a regular IV is ideal for many situations, a vascular access catheter removes any risk of complications from an IV, such as blood clots and tissue damage. Patients with a central venous access catheter (which is what the vascular access catheter is often referred to as) won’t have to deal with the irritation or discomfort of repeated needlesticks. There are several different types of vascular access catheters. Our surgical team will assess your medical history and needs in order to determine which is best. The different types include:
  • Tunneled small-bore catheters

    Sometimes referred to as Hohn, Hickman, or Broviac catheters, this type is often used when a patient is in need of antibiotics, nutritional supplements, and chemotherapy treatments,

  • Tunneled dual-lumen catheters

    This type of catheter is used for patients undergoing a stem cell transplant or other procedure that requires a larger flow volume

  • Implantable ports

    Also referred to as Medi Ports or Port-a-Caths, these are frequently used for cancer chemotherapy or for patients suffering from specific diseases, such as cystic fibrosis

  • Peripherally inserted central catheters

    Also referred to as PICC lines, this type of catheter is inserted in the veins of the upper arm and are able to be removed quite easily

  • Tunneled dialysis catheters

    This type of catheter is used for patients who are in need of hemodialysis because they are designed for rapid flow of blood to and from the dialysis machine


The surgeons at Surgical Associates of Mansfield will be able to determine which vascular access catheter will best fit your needs and proceed with the procedure accordingly. If you have any questions about the type of catheter you will be receiving, or what you can expect while it is in your system, do not hesitate to ask.

The Surgical Associates of Mansfield Difference

We understand how intimidating it can be to undergo any type of procedure or surgery, which is why we are committed to making our patients feel comfortable during all steps of the process. If you have any questions about vascular access surgery, please ask. Our surgeons have performed thousands of vascular access procedures and are prepared to answer any questions you may have and put your mind at ease. To learn more about the procedure or our surgical clinic, give us a call today.

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