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Instructions after removal of a Hickman catheter

  • These instructions will help you recover after the removal of your central line or Hickman catheter.

    Site care

    Care after the removal of your Hickman line

    • Keep the dressing over the Hickman line site for 48 hours after the removal.
    • Keep the area dry for 48 hours after the removal.
    • If you would like to bathe, keep the dressing dry by covering it with a "window" of plastic and tape while bathing.
    • If the dressing becomes damp, replace the dressing with a Band-Aid.

    48 hours after the removal of your Hickman line

    • Remove the dressing; it is no longer necessary to cover the site.
    • You may cover the site with a Band-Aid for comfort; if you use a Band-Aid, change the Band-Aid daily.
    • When showering or bathing, wash the Hickman line site with soap and water.

    Physical activity

    Avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours after the removal of the Hickman line. After 48 hours, you may resume your usual activities as tolerated.

    When to call your oncologist

    • Temperature > 100.5 degrees F.
    • Swelling or redness at the Hickman line site.
    • Drainage from the Hickman line site (Note: a small amount of pink-tinged liquid from the Hickman line site is normal.)
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