Skip Navigation

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Dana-Farber patients & families Learn more

How to Change the Dressing on Your Hickman Catheter

  • What is a Hickman catheter?

    A Hickman catheter is a small, soft tube inserted in your neck or chest with several channels (called lumens) on the ends. Several inches of the catheter are outside your skin. A Hickman catheter is used for taking and giving blood, and giving medicines that need a larger vein (such as chemotherapy), and other fluids. Patients who receive stem cell transplants often have a Hickman catheter.

    How to change the dressing

    Your Hickman catheter, at the place where it extends out of your skin, is covered by a clear bandage called a "dressing." This dressing is sterile and needs to be changed once a week. If your dressing becomes wet, change it immediately. For this procedure you need to wear gloves.

    See additional information and instructions on caring for your Hickman catheter.

  • Video
  • Treatments & Procedures
  • Coping with Cancer