• Vascular Access & Intervention

    • Finding veins to either take blood from or put drips into may get progressively more difficult with time. Vascular access procedures may help.

      Samples may need to be taken from a tumour – a biopsy – and occasionally fluid may need to be drained from a body cavity using a very fine tube – this is drainage or aspiration.

    • In order to reduce the need for multiple needle placements in the hands and arms our consultants are able to insert lines into the large neck veins and then ‘tunnel’ the lines under the skin, either to a line outside the body or into a reservoir that sits just below the skin (a ‘port’). Tunnelled lines reduce the risk of infection, and ports reduce the risk still further by being entirely under the skin, but accessible by a small needle which may either draw blood or give drugs. All tunneled lines are inserted under anaesthetic.

      Sometimes there can be a build up of fluid in an organ or body cavity. This may need to be drained using a very fine needle. If the fluid can all be removed in one go, then this may be carried out and nothing left behind. This is an aspiration. If there is a possibility that more fluid may accumulate, then a very fine tube may be inserted and left in position. This is a drainage. Once fluid has stopped draining, the tube may then be removed.

      Please click here to view our patient leaflet on Biopsies.

      Please click here to view the Macmillan leaflet for Inplantable Ports.

      Please click here to view the Macmillan leaflet for PICC Lines.

      Please click here to view the Macmillan leaflet for Central Lines.