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Tunneled Dialysis Catheter Insertion

What Is A Tunneled Dialysis Catheter?

Your tunneled dialysis catheter is used for temporary dialysis access. The dialysis catheter is placed in a vein in the neck and then tunneled under the skin, exiting the skin on the chest or shoulder area.

Before The Procedure

You will have an IV inserted and an IV antibiotic will be given before the procedure. Please do not eat 8 hours or drink 4 hours before the procedure. Some medications increase the risk of bleeding. You may be asked to stop taking these medications for several days before the procedure. Talk to your provider about resuming these medications the day after the procedure.

During The Procedure

Sedation and pain medication are given through your IV during the procedure. You will lie on the table on your back with your head flat with a small cushion placed under your head. Your neck and shoulder are cleaned with a special soap and then numbed. The vein is accessed using ultrasound as a guide for needle access. The catheter is then tunneled under the skin and placed in the vein. You may have a tugging or pulling sensation. The catheter is stitched into place and can be used immediately after placement. The procedure will take approximately 1 hour.

After The Procedure

A chest X-ray may be taken after the procedure to verify placement of the catheter in an upright position. You will be observed for a few hours after the procedure. The head of the bed must remain elevated for 3 hours after the procedure.

If you have further questions about your examination, please call your provider.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO