Long‐term experience with totally implanted catheter systems (TICS) is limited. We retrospectively evaluated the performance and long‐term complications of TICS for intravenous infusion in cancer patients; 134 systems were implanted in 128 patients. The median duration of implantation was 144 weeks with 49 systems implanted for more than one year. Complications related to surgical factors included malposition of reservoir (2%), skin perforation or wound dehiscence (1.5%) and pneumothorax (< 1%). Complications not related to surgical factors included: drug extravasation (1.5%), mechanical malfunction (1.5%), vein thrombosis (< 1%), clotting of the reservoir or catheter (2%), skin infection (1.5%), and sepsis (< 1%). The total complication rate was 13%. Most complications resolved spontaneously or with medical treatment and only 6 patients (4.6%) required re‐implantation of a second system. We conclude that with long‐term usage of TICS, the complication rate remains low, making it a safe and viable alternative for patients requiring long‐term intravenous therapy.
- vascular access problems
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