Port and PICC Line (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) Placement

Port Placement
A port (portacath) is an IV line that is placed under the skin of your chest. You may need a port if you require on-going infusions of medication or blood draws. A chest port keeps the veins in your hands and arms from being stuck repeatedly with needles. The radiologist can place port the in a few minutes with IV sedation and local anesthetic. Patients can go home in an hour or two after they recover from the sedation. A port can be left in placed for as long as you need treatment. You can bathe and swim with a port after the skin heals.


  • To deliver medicine
  • To take blood for testing
  • To inject X-ray contrast for CT and PET scans

How to Prepare

  • You may be asked to fast the night before the procedure

What to Expect

  • You will receive IV sedation or local anesthesia to alleviate pain
  • A small incision will be made in the chest to insert the port. The radiologist can place the port in a few minutes
  • The radiologist uses ultrasound and x-ray to guide the placement of the port
  • You will be able to go home 1-3 hours following the procedure

PICC Line Placement

If you need long-term IV therapy, the radiologist can place a PICC line. This allows doctors and nurses to frequently give IV medicine without constantly sticking your arm. A PICC line is a long thin plastic tube (catheter) that is inserted in your arm. It can stay in for a few weeks or months.


  • Long-term antibiotic treatment
  • Other needed medicine
  • TPN Nutrition
  • Chemotherapy
  • Blood transfusions
  • Extended treatment at home

What to Expect

  • Local anesthesia will be used
  • Ultrasound will guide the catheter to the correct vein in your arm
  • Putting in the PICC takes a few minutes