Permacath is a special catheter inserted in the jugular vein on the neck or upper chest area to aid in dialysis. Surgeons normally thread this catheter around the right atrium of the heart. This entails creation of a pathway underneath the skin, to allow one end of the tube to act as the entrance, while the other leads to blood vessels. Hence, regular dialysis becomes simpler due to the presence of an indwelling catheter.
Doctors carry out certain routine preparations before actual catheterization of the patient. In case basic tests such as blood work, EKG, physicals and patients history are already in place, prepping will only take an hour or so. However, emergencies or need for further observation, may lead to delays before and after surgery.
Beginning With Surgery
Your medical history is vital before permacath insertion surgery. This is especially true for patients with blood related ailments such as diabetes. Such a patient should jot down all medicines, nutritional supplements, insulin doses, vitamins and herbal concoctions; they are currently taking. This information will assist the surgeon to be aware of any risks or complications that may occur, due to drug interactions during the procedure.
You should also adhere to the basic rules that apply for minor surgeries when going for permanent catheter insertion. Arrange for transport from the clinic, albeit you can drive yourself after a short respite. It is also advisable to have part-time help at home during the recovery period. When you head to the clinic or hospital for the procedure, wear comfortable clothing with minimal jewelry. Leave small kids at home under supervision of a nanny.
Surgeons normally perform permacath surgery under local anesthesia. You will disrobe from the waist up and put on a gown as per the hospitals house style. An attending nurse will attach electrodes and other equipment to examine heart rate and similar vital signs during the procedure. During the short surgery, you are required to sit down so that the doctor can access your back. The entire process takes between fifteen and forty-five minutes depending on the skills of the surgeon.
As mentioned before, the permanent catheter usually passes underneath your skin. This significantly reduces the chance of infections occurring, while ensuring that it remains intact for roughly a year without problems. You will feel a slight pressure on the neck when the physician inserts the catheter, albeit the procedure is relatively pain free.
After The Surgery
You can resume normal activities immediately after permacath insertion surgery. However, do not expose the area above the nipple line to water immediately after the procedure. Doctors forbid heavy lifting activities until healing takes place completely. Notify your doctor in case of the following symptoms:
- Fever and pain
- Fluid drainage at the catheter
- Redness and itchiness around the wound
- Continuous bleeding
Nevertheless, side effects are rare and patients continue with their routine dialysis treatments after a week or so. The indwelling catheter stays in your body until doctors recommend dialysis cessation. Always cover the area around its entrance with cotton gauze when taking a bathe to prevent the risk of infections.
Patients on dialysis know how the procedure can get uncomfortable with time. The risk of peritonitis and skin infections is always present. Nevertheless, there are ways to circumvent risks and have stress free, painless dialysis. This entails the permacath insertion procedure explained in the article above.
Understand the Portacath Catheter.