Inserted Central Venous Catheter (PICC Line)
Imaging (Radiology) Procedures
What is the test?
A peripherally inserted central venous
catheter (PICC line) addresses your needs for intravenous (IV) drug therapy. A
PICC catheter is soft, flexible tubing consisting of either silicone or
polyurethane. It is designed for the infusion of fluids including: blood
products, medications, and IV nutrients. A PICC line may also be used for blood
sampling. The PICC is placed into a vein in your arm and may facilitate venous
access for weeks or months depending on your IV therapy needs.
How do I prepare?
There is no special preparation needed for
the insertion of a PICC line. Please plan to arrive at the Imaging Department
15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
What can I expect during the
The PICC insertion is a sterile procedure.
You will lie on an x-ray table with your arm extended away from your body. An
ultrasound technologist will take an image of your arm to determine the size of
your vein, to assure that the PICC line will fit within the vein. The
radiologist will access the vein using a needle and then use a special type of
x-ray called fluoroscopy to obtain an image of the arm as he passes the PICC
line up the vein. Once the radiologist has the PICC in the proper location, the
line will be secured and a clean dressing applied. Often a chest x-ray is then
performed to document the PICC placement.
You will receive verbal instructions and a
booklet explaining how to care for and use your PICC.
How and when will I get my results?
Typically, within 48 hours a written report
about your PICC will be sent to your referring physician, explaining the
results and the type of PICC you now have. Your physician will follow up with
you regarding the use of the newly inserted PICC.
Where is the test performed?
Insertion of PICC lines is performed in the
Imaging Services department at Cayuga Medical Center, at 101 Dates Drive, off
NYS Route 96 in Ithaca.
About our Imaging Services
Cayuga Medical Center has a commitment to
and reputation for staying abreast of changing technology and our imaging
equipment is state-of-the-art. Our range of services is comprehensive and we
offer all imaging modalities found in major medical centers. Radiologists are
on site at all three of our locations, which also distinguishes the level of
service we provide.
Imaging Services is staffed by six-board
certified radiologists, many of whom are subspecialists in areas such as
neuroradiology, abdominal CT, and interventional procedures. Assisting them are
experienced radiologic technologists, many of whom have completed advanced
training and are certified in specialty modalities.