Permacath or Tunneled Catheter Insertion Guide

The Permacath system is the newest minimally invasive treatment built to provide a permanent solution for those suffering from chronic leg pain or dryness. This comfortable, cost-effective alternative to typical dialysis catheter delivery can be used to treat people with renal insufficiency, diabetes, or any other condition that causes chronic circulation problems. It provides a way to give patients a chance at a better quality of life by giving them better access to their own veins.

The process is simple: under local anesthesia, a small incision is made into the skin and then the specially designed tiny tunneled catheter is inserted into the vein. The Permacath system was created by Gorgeousrx, a company which was developed after its CEO’s younger sister was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. She struggled for four years to find solutions to the dialysis treatments she needed and the pain associated with them. She tried many different steps but eventually had to come up with her own solution.

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What is Permacath and why do I need one?

Permacaths are a piece made of plastic tubing that is very similar to a jugular catheter. They can be used exactly the same way as a jugular catheter for haemodialysis.

A cuff is attached to the permacath. It holds the catheter in place and protects against infection. It is hidden beneath the skin and can’t be seen. The part of the catheter that is visible is the one that protrudes from your chest wall. It measures approximately 6 inches/15 cms in length and is made from soft, flexible, white plastic. There are two limbs.

The catheter will be covered with a transparent dressing.

Where is the permacath placed?

The permacath goes into the jugular. The catheter is placed under the skin and tissues of your upper chest, below your collar bone, and the end will be exposed on the chest wall. It is approximately 4 inches (10 cms) beneath the collar bone.

The permacath is more resistant to infection and can stay in your body longer than the jugular, while you wait for a fistula. It can be used longer if a fistula is not possible. It can become infected and may need to be replaced.

Why is the procedure done in the X-Ray Department?

X-rays are taken during the procedure to make sure that the permacath is in the correct position.

What happens when I get to the X-Ray Department?

The drip will give you some sedation. This will relax you and make it easier to sleep throughout the procedure as well as the remainder of the night.

Green gowns and gloves will be worn by the medical staff. This is necessary to maintain a clean environment for the procedure. It minimizes the possibility of infection.

To monitor oxygen levels during the procedure, a clip will be attached to one of your fingers. The machine emits a loud bleeping sound.

Once the sedation is in effect, the permacath will be tunnelled beneath the skin into the jugular vein. There will be 2 to 3 stitches in your neck, and the catheter will exit your chest wall.

The catheter will have a second stitch where it touches your chest wall. The Renal Unit staff or the ward staff will apply transparent dressing to both of these areas. The stitches will be taken out in 10 days.

What are the risks and consequences associated with this procedure?

As with a jugular, there is a slight risk of puncturing your lung. If you feel severe pain or have difficulty breathing upon your return to the ward it is important that you inform the staff immediately.

You may also experience some bleeding at the permacath site. To stop further bleeding, you might need an additional stitch.

There is an infection risk with the jugular catheter. Staff should wear gloves when connecting or disconnecting from the dialysis machine. This will help to minimize this risk.

Dialyse will check your temperature and examine the dressing for signs of infection. You should also inform the Renal Unit staff if you feel any discomfort, redness, or leakage at the catheter site. It is recommended that the dressing be changed at least once per week.

Talk to your consultant if you have questions or concerns about these risks.

What are the alternatives of Permacath?

This is the recommended procedure by your consultant. There are no other options. There is an alternative. Neglecting treatment can have serious consequences. Talk to your nurse or consultant if you need more information.

What happens after the Permacath procedure?

For several hours, you will feel tired. There may be some discomfort in the permacath or bruising. It is normal for this to happen and you may need pain relief. Please inform the staff at the ward if you feel discomfort or are experiencing pain. A small amount of blood may be lost during the procedure. It is normal. When you wake up, there will be some blood on your neck and back. It looks worse than it really is so don’t panic.

When can I go home?

You can go home the next morning if everything went well. The catheter should be treated in the same way as your jugular. When you leave the hospital, you will receive an information sheet.

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