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The catheter is stuck: complications experienced during removal of a totally implantable venous access device. A single-center study in 200 children

      Abstract

      Background

      Totally implantable venous access devices (TIVAD) facilitate repeat intravenous therapy for children. Many children recover and the device may be removed. Although removal should be a simple procedure via a single incision, in our experience, this has not been the case.

      Methods

      Two hundred consecutive cases of removal of TIVAD from September 2000 to January 2004 at Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, were reviewed.

      Results

      Average patient age was 5.9 years. The commonest indication for placement was administration of chemotherapy (88%); commonest indication for removal was remission of disease (70%). The median duration in situ of the catheter was 29 months (range, 0.4-91 months). Complications with removal of the polyurethane catheter of the TIVAD were experienced in 16% of cases. To enable removal, a second incision was required in 28 patients, venotomy in 5; the catheter could not be removed in 3. For all complicated removals the catheter had been in situ for longer than 20 months.

      Conclusions

      Long-term implantation of TIVAD with polyurethane catheter appears unsuitable owing to a high incidence of complication at time of removal.

      Index words

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