A Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter, or "PICC line," is a thin, soft plastic tube—like an intravenous (IV) line—that allows you to receive medicines and fluids. A PICC line stays in place for as long as needed.
A nurse places a PICC line into a large vein in your arm and guides the catheter up into the main vein near your heart where blood flows quickly. The nurse sutures (stitches) the PICC line in place and covers the site with a sterile bandage. An x-ray is done to make sure that the catheter is in the right place. It takes 1 – 1.5 hours to place the PICC line. Most patients feel little or no discomfort during this procedure. A local anesthetic may be used.