Central Venous Catheter (CVC) insertion

Central Venous Catheter Insertion

Central Venous Catheter Insertion in Cyprus

Central Venous Catheter insertion is a procedure in which Dr Zertalis uses ultrasound (US) and X-rays (fluoroscopy) for the placement of a plastic tube (catheter) into a large vein in the chest or abdomen. 

There are many different types of central venous catheters and their use varies between patients. They may be used for:

  • Administering long-term medications such as chemotherapy drugs or antibiotics
  • Delivering nutrition 
  • Filtering blood in patients undergoing dialysis. 


Regardless of the indication for a Central Venous Catheter, the key benefit is the use of the catheter at regular intervals for as long as it is required without the need of repeated injections or insertion of thin plastic tubes through the vein (cannulas). 


Central Venous Catheter insertion is a safe, effective and accurate procedure, but as with any medical procedure there are some risks and complications that you may uncommonly experience.

Bleeding: Risk of significant bleeding is rare although this can occur by injuring structures (arteries) while attempting access to the veins. Small volume of bleeding and bruising where incisions are made may occur. 

Pneumothorax: There is a small risk of air getting into the space (pleura) around the lung (pneumothorax). This is unlikely to cause any problems although rarely it can cause the lung to collapse which can result in shortness of breath and chest pain. A plastic tube (drain) will have to be inserted through the skin to drain the air and allow the lung to expand.

Infection: Insertion of the Central Venous Catheter requires direct access to the bloodstream hence there is a small risk of infection. In this instance the Central Venous Catheter will be removed, replaced and you will be prescribed antibiotics. 

Line malfunction: Infrequently, the Central Venous Catheter may not work properly either because its blocked or because of a change in position and will likely need removal and replacement. 

Dr Zertalis will explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have and remember that even at this stage, you can still decide not to go ahead with procedure if you choose to do so. 

Before the procedure

The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and with sedation if necessary. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before the procedure. Where necessary a blood test may be required. A short and thin plastic tube (cannula) will be placed into a vein in your arm.

Please let Dr Zertalis know about any medications you take, any allergies you may have and if you previously have had a reaction to the x-ray dye (contrast).

The procedure

You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and lie on your back. You will have devices attached to your chest, arm and finger to monitor you pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels. You will be given a sedative to relieve anxiety and painkillers where necessary. This is standard for all minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures performed in Cyprus. 

The procedure is performed under sterile conditions and Dr Zertalis will wear sterile gowns and gloves. Your skin will be swabbed with antiseptic and you will be covered with sterile drapes. 

Following the local anaesthetic injection, a small cut (incision) is made in the skin and Dr Zertalis will use an ultrasound (US) and X-Rays (Fluoroscopy) to navigate a fine needle into a vein to access the bloodstream followed by the insertion of the Central Venous Catheter over a guidewire. The Central Venous Catheter will then be tunnelled and secured under the skin using stiches (sutures) and dressings.

Every patient is different, however, expect to be in the radiology department for up to 1 hour.

After the procedure

You will be transferred to your ward where your pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels and the entry site in the skin will be checked by our team at regular intervals. You should expect to be in bed for up to 6 hours until you have recovered. 

You will need to keep the wound completely dry for 5 days. Sutures will be removed in 7-10 days. The Central Venous Catheter can be used immediately and will be removed when no longer needed using local anaesthetic.

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Legal Notice

Medical information on our website was prepared in line with evidence-based practice at the time of writing. Our aim is to make the information as up to date and accurate as possible, but please be aware that it is always subject to change. We cannot accept any legal liability arising from its use. You are strongly advised to check specific advice on the procedure or any concerns you may have with Dr Zertalis.