Diseases and conditions

Venous disease

What is venous disease?

Venous disease refers to various medical conditions related to the body’s veins. These conditions include:

  • Blood clots
  • Varicose and spider veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Venous insufficiency

These diseases can be treated by making a tiny incision in the skin to deliver precise, targeted treatment through flexible tubes known as central venous catheters. Catheter placement is one of the most common treatments performed by interventional radiologists to treat venous diseases.



<p>Blood clots&nbsp;are healthy and lifesaving when they stop bleeding. But they can also form when they aren't needed and cause serious medical problems.</p>

Blood clots are healthy and lifesaving when they stop bleeding. But they can also form when they aren't needed and cause serious medical problems.


Interventional radiologists are board-certified physicians who deliver minimally invasive treatments with less risk, less pain and less recovery time than traditional surgery to treat venous diseases.

Non-tunneled central venous catheter:

A non-tunneled central venous catheter is a long, flexible tube that is placed by an interventional radiologist into a vein in the neck or groin to administer intravenous fluids (IVF). It is often kept in place for only a short time (7-14 days). A small needle is used to access the vein, and a catheter is inserted and positioned so that it extends to the large veins that empty into the heart. An x-ray is used to confirm proper positioning, then the catheter is secured to the skin with stitches.

Peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC):

A PICC is a long, flexible tube that extends from a vein in the upper arm to larger veins within the chest. This allows access for antibiotics or other medications. A PICC will require periodic cleaning to prevent the catheter from clogging. Patients who experience difficulty using a typical IV line may require a PICC for blood draws and IV medication. After placement, you may experience bleeding, pain or swelling at the insertion site. A PICC may become dislodged. In these cases, removal or replacement of the PICC may be required.


A mediport is a small metallic cylinder into which medication can be injected or blood withdrawn. An interventional radiologist places a small needle into a vein in the neck to insert a catheter. Next, a small cut is made in the chest so that the mediport can be placed under the skin. A small portion of the catheter will be “tunneled” under the skin and connected to the mediport. A mediport provides a more permanent form of venous access because all elements of the mediport remain under the skin.

 For all central venous catheter treatments, please tell your doctor if you have had a central venous catheter in the past, as this may affect where the catheter is placed.


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