Upstate Carolina Radiology

Venous Ports

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Venous Ports (Venous Catheters) provide long term intravenous access.  A CVAC is a tube that is inserted beneath your skin so there is a simple, pain-free way for doctors or nurses to draw your blood or give you medication or nutrients. More than 3.4 million CVACs are placed each year, and doctors increasingly recommend their use. Venous ports are usually placed by Interventional Radiologists during a 30 minute outpatient procedure.  Patients may bathe or swim normally.  A small, round reservoir provides easy access by nurses to repetitively administer medications, without damaging arm veins.  Ports may be used for several years, but will eventually have to be removed.  There are several types of CVACs, including tunneled catheters (Hickman or Broviac), peripherally inserted central catheters (also called PICC lines or long lines), dialysis catheters, and implantable ports.


Doctors often recommend CVACs for patients who regularly have:

  • Chemotherapy treatments
  • Infusions of antibiotics or other medications
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Hemodialysis

Information reprinted with permission from the Society of Interventional Radiology, Copyright 2004–2009, All rights reserved.