A Central Venous Access Catheter (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. When you have a CVAC, you are spared the irritation and discomfort of repeated needlesticks. More than 3.4 million CVACs are placed each year, and doctors increasingly recommend their use.
There are several types of CVACs, including tunneled catheters (Hickman or Broviac), peripherally inserted central catheters (also called PICC lines), dialysis catheters, and implantable ports (Port-a-cath, VAD).
Doctors often recommend CVACs for patients who regularly have:
- Chemotherapy treatments
- Infusion of antibiotics or other medications
- Nutritional supplements