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  • Home » What can I do about small veins?

    What can I do about small veins?

    Q. I have very small veins and even drawing blood has always been a problem. I’m scheduled for chemotherapy and am wondering if there is anything available to make this treatment more comfortable for me?

    A. Yes. Most chemo drugs are put right into your bloodstream. When needles and catheters are put in the small veins of your arms or hands repeatedly, it can cause wear and tear and scarring in the veins. This makes putting in an IV harder and sometimes, it can take many tries to put one in.

    A central venous catheter or CVC may be right for you. The CVC is a catheter that’s put into a large vein in the chest or upper arm. It stays in as long as you’re getting treatment so you won’t need to be stuck with a needle each time. Some can be used to draw blood, too. Some types of CVCs can stay in for weeks, months, or even years.

    Check with your doctor about having a CVC put in so it’s easier for you to get chemotherapy. There are many different types of CVCs. Your doctor can help you decide if you need a CVC and help you choose the right type of CVC for you.


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