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Removal of a Central Line, Picc, or Midline Catheter

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

After your healthcare provider removes your device, you will need to prevent infections and other serious problems. Clean and care for the area as directed. Watch for signs of infection, such as redness or a fever.


Call your local emergency number (911 in US) if:

  • You have trouble breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your site begins to bleed.
  • You have severe pain and numbness in your arm or leg that the line or catheter was in.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have redness and swelling at the line or catheter site.
  • The line or catheter site is draining pus or has a foul odor.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Manage the line or catheter site:

  • Leave the bandage in place for at least 24 hours, or as directed. Change the bandage if it gets wet or dirty.
  • You may need to remove the first bandage. Clean the area with soap and water. Pat the area dry. Then put a clean bandage on as directed.
  • If you have an incision, keep it dry until it is completely healed.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

If you have stitches, you may need to return to have them removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.