A PICC line is an intravenous line that can stay in a patient for approximately 6 to 8 months. Antibiotics, nutrition, and chemotherapy are common medications that may need to be infused over a long period of time. The PICC is inserted in the inside of your upper arm; the end of the PICC is positioned in the Superior Vena Cava. The superior vena cava is a large central vein in your chest that leads to your heart. The end of the PICC does not go into your heart.
Your doctor has ordered a PICC for you to be placed by ultrasound and x-ray guidance. We use ultrasound to localize the vein in your upper arm and x-ray to make sure the tip is in the superior vena cava. You will be asked to change into a gown, and then escorted to one of out treatment rooms. Your arm will be placed out to one side and washed with soap and sterilely draped. A small amount of numbing medicine will be given to anesthetize the inside of your upper arm. A slight pinch and momentary sting will be felt in the area. During the procedure, the only sensation felt will be pressure on the inside of your upper arm. You will not feel the PICC line inside your veins at all.
The procedure should take approximately 45 minutes. A sterile dressing will be applied and any further questions you have will be answered. A visiting nurse will perform the care of your PICC unless your physician has made other arrangements.
There is no preparation prior to coming to our office.