Implantable ports are used to facilitate long term intravenous (IV) access, for example, to administer chemotherapy for cancer treatment. The implantable port is placed under the skin and has a small reservoir attached to a catheter which connects to a vein. An implantable port may be permanent, or it may be removed if it is determined that the patient no longer requires a port for access in the near future.
A Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) is a long, thin plastic tube that functions as an intravenous (IV) line. A PICC line is inserted into a peripheral vein, typically in the upper arm, and advanced under ultrasound and x-ray guidance until the catheter tip terminates in a large vein in the chest. A PICC's central tip location in the body allows for treatment that could not be achieved with a standard peripheral IV access. In addition, PICC insertions are less invasive, have fewer complications, and can remain in place for a much longer duration than other types of central lines.
IVC Filter Insertion and Removal
Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are designed to trap blood clots traveling the leg veins to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). They may be temporary or permanent. In a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure, the filter is placed through a catheter into the IVC, a large vein in the abdomen. Temporary IVC filters can be removed when there is no longer a risk of blood clot fragments traveling to the lungs. During the removal procedure, a special catheter is used to take hold of the filter and withdraw it from the body.
Liver biopsies are for the evaluation of liver tissue, which is sometimes required for liver function testing or to diagnose a liver problem that can't be otherwise identified. The sample is obtained using ultrasound guidance with a small biopsy needle, all under moderate or "twilight" sedation.
Paracentesis and Thoracentesis
Paracentesis is a procedure used to remove peritoneal fluid in the abdominal cavity. Thoracentesis is a procedure used to remove excess fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall. Both procedures are performed under ultrasound guidance at Augusta Vascular Center, in a pleasant and comfortable environment.
Lumbar Puncture and Intrathecal Chemotherapy Injection
A lumbar puncture is a procedure in which a hollow needle is inserted between the bones of the lower back and into the fluid around the lower part of the spinal cord. Next, a sample of the fluid is taken to be examined in the laboratory. In some cancers, such as some types of leukemia or lymphoma, cancer cells can pass into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In intrathecal chemotherapy, anti-cancer drugs are delivered by injection through a lumbar puncture, in order to reach the CSF. It is used because chemotherapy administered orally or directly into a vein can't easily get into the CSF. The most commonly administered intrathecal chemotherapy drugs are methotrexate and cytarabine.