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What is a PICC Placement?

A peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC line, is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure using x-ray and ultrasound machines. During this procedure, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into one of the three main veins in the upper arm and is fastened to the skin with tape.

A PICC line is used to help open the blood vessels and give you medication without having to insert a needle or IV each time. 

The procedure typically takes about an hour and is offered as an outpatient treatment.

How to Prepare for PICC Placement

If you get sick or hospitalized before your appointment, please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan ahead.

  • When to Arrive - Please arrive 30 minutes before your procedure appointment time.
  • Eating - You may eat normally prior to your appointment.
  • Drinking - You may continue drinking normally prior to your appointment.
  • Medications - Please take your regularly scheduled medications with a sip of water. .
  • Pregnancy - Please let us know if there is any possibility you could be pregnant before undergoing your procedure.

What Happens After PICC Placement?

Over the next few days after your procedure, temporary soreness at the arm area is expected. Tylenol or Motrin will treat this.

You will be able to shower 48 hours after placement. The catheter will need to be covered with a plastic covering.

Your care team will give you additional information for administering medication and removing the PICC line.

What to Expect for a PICC Placement

Watch these videos to learn more.