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Patients - Your Exam

Interventional Radiology - Vascular Access

Patient Preparation and Instructions

You will receive instructions from staff at the interventional radiologist's office at least one day before the procedure. You may have blood drawn for pre-procedure testing at a local clinic. Staff will advise you if changes in your regular medication schedule are necessary. You may have to avoid eating or drinking anything for 6 hours before the procedure. Make sure that someone

will be available to drive you home afterward.


Patients receiving with a Port or a tunneled line may be asked to:

  • Fast for 6 hours before the procedure if you will be receiving sedation.

  • Have a responsible adult to drive you home and spend the night with you.

  • Avoid taking aspirin three days before and of the procedure.

Post-Test Guidelines and Care

After the procedure the PICC, tunneled line or Port can be used immediately.


PICC Lines- A sterile dressing will be placed to reduce the risk of an infection this dressing should be changed weekly or more often if advised by a health care professional. It is important you keep the arm with the PICC line clean and dry at all times to prevent an infection.


Port and Tunneled Lines - in 7 or 10 days you will have a follow up visit to make sure the incision is healing and remove stitches if they were placed. You should keep the site clean and dry for the first 10 days to help prevent an infection. For the first week you should avoid lifting heavy objects or other stress at the site of the catheter. You catheter will need to be flushed after every use and monthly to keep it working well.

Possible Complications

Minor complications include pain and bruising.

The following serious complications occur rarely:

  • Hemorrhage

  • Sepsis

  • Damage to the blood vessel or surrounding structures

  • Death


If the patient has persistent pain, swelling of the arm, skin becomes red, bruised or had drainage, if you have a fever greater than 101 degrees or otherwise suspects a complication, he or she should alert the physician immediately.

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