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Vascular surgeons at the University of Miami Health System can help make your care easier by performing vascular access procedures. These procedures allow the expert, careful placement of a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel to create a long-term access point for blood draws, injections or other procedures. These access points help you avoid multiple needle sticks, so your care is more comfortable.


You may need a vascular access point if you are receiving long-term care like chemotherapy, dialysis or IV nutrition.

What to Expect

Before your vascular access procedure, you will get a few blood tests to ensure your kidneys work well and your blood clots normally. 

Depending on the location of your vascular access, your surgeon may perform the procedure right in your hospital room (such as for arm access) or you may need to go to the catheterization lab so you doctor can use X-ray imaging.

You may receive sedation to help keep you calm and comfortable during the procedure. Your doctor will also numb the procedure area with local anesthetic. 

Once you’re are comfortable, your surgeon will use ultrasound or X-ray imaging to locate the vein for access. They will make a small incision in the vein and insert a guide wire. They will thread the guide wire into your vena cava (your largest vein) or other appropriate blood vessel. They will then place a catheter over the guide wire and remove the wire. 

Depending on what type of vascular access you have, the catheter may be stitched into place or attached to a port, a small plastic and silicone device that sits beneath your skin. Your doctor will then use glue or stitches to close up the incision. You may need an additional X-ray to ensure the catheter is in the correct position.

After your procedure, you will need to lie flat for about 45 minutes. You may then be able to go home. You should avoid lifting heavy objects and getting the area wet until your doctor clears you for these activities.

When your treatment is done, your vascular surgeon can remove the catheter in another short procedure.

Why Choose UHealth?

Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

Advanced, hard-to-find procedures. Our doctors are committed to caring for every patient. That’s why they offer the latest treatments, including limb salvage, endovascular grafting and thoracic outlet decompression, to improve your blood flow. 

All the care you need, from one physician. Our vascular surgeons perform a wide range of procedures so you can have the same physician for any vascular care you need as your condition changes. Whether you need a stent replaced or a vein grafted, you can always turn to the doctor you trust.

Experienced doctors, reliable results. UHealth vascular surgeons perform hundreds of stent placements, angiograms and more every year. You can rely on their experience to help you avoid complications and have a positive outcome. 

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