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Venous access is an interventional, or non-surgical, procedure used to insert long-term catheters used for medication. Patients recommended for venous access require medication delivered directly into their blood stream.
Venous access has become a basic but critical procedure for many patients. At St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute, our specialists – leaders in interventional care – regularly perform venous access.
In venous access, a catheter acts as an entryway into your vein. One end of the catheter is placed in a vein, and the other end exits your body so that your physician can deliver your medicine into your vein through the catheter, or in some cases through a port under the surface of your skin.
Venous access lets your doctor deliver medicine directly into your bloodstream without repeatedly puncturing your blood vessels.
Your physician or vascular surgeon can choose one of four general types of venous access devices. These types are:
There are four basic steps to the procedure, regardless of type of device your surgeon uses. During the procedure your surgeon will:
Most procedures require 30 to 45 minutes to complete. Usually, you will not have to do any special preparation before venous access.
After the procedure: