Interventional radiologists are uniquely qualified to perform a wide variety of venous access procedures ranging from placement of PICC's (peripherally inserted central catheters and dialysis catheters) to ports (devices implanted completely under the skin).
A PICC line allows multiple blood draws without repeated vein punctures, and allows safe administration of IV drugs and feedings. The ability to directly image the vessel that is to be accessed increases patient safety, comfort and success rates.
Familiarity with all types of catheters allows the radiologist to customize which access device would be the most appropriate. Interventional radiologists routinely place catheters in patients who have been labeled as having "no veins." Patients who have had many catheters in the past (especially dialysis patients) may require unique locations for new catheters such as through the liver, chest, or back. Image guidance allows the interventional radiologist to do this safely.
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