Routine chest X-ray is not mandatory after fluoroscopy-guided totally implantable venous access device insertion

Theodoros Thomopoulos, Jeremy Meyer, Wojciech Staszewicz, Ilias Bagetakos, Max Scheffler, Antoine Lomessy, Christian Toso, Christoph D Becker, Philippe Morel
Annals of Vascular Surgery 2014, 28 (2): 345-50

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study is to determine whether systematic postoperative chest X-ray is required after totally implantable venous access port device (TIVAD) placement under fluoroscopic control.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all consecutive patients with fluoroscopy-guided TIVAD insertion from July 10, 2009 to April 16, 2012 was conducted at the Geneva University Hospitals (n = 927). Patients with an available postoperative chest X-ray were included, regardless of approach (open or percutaneous) and venous access site (subclavian, cephalic, jugular, etc.). Exclusion criteria were incomplete data and preexisting pneumothorax or hemothorax.

RESULTS: Eight hundred ninety-one patients were included. First-intention venous cutdown was performed in 878 patients (98.5%), with success rates of 79.4% and 88.2% when targeting the left and right cephalic veins, respectively. Percutaneous access was the chosen first-intention procedure for 12 patients (1.3%). Eight-hundred thirty-six (93.8%) insertions were performed only by the open approach and 53 (5.9%) implantations required at least one venous puncture. Two implantations were performed using previous central venous accesses. Immediate complications associated with TIVAD placement and detected on the postoperative chest X-ray consisted of 1 asymptomatic pneumothorax, 1 symptomatic hemothorax, and 2 malpositions of the catheter. One additional pneumothorax was discovered during the first night after TIVAD insertion in a patient who became symptomatic.

CONCLUSIONS: The very low incidence of immediate complications detected by postprocedural chest X-ray suggests that such a control is not mandatory as a routine method after fluoroscopy-guided TIVAD insertion mainly performed by venous cutdown. X-ray should be performed only in cases of clinical suspicion.

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