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Placed surgically beneath the skin or into deeper tissues, e.g., into the intestinal wall. A tunneled catheter, e.g., is one that enters a vein through an incision made in the skin near the vein but then is passed through subcutaneous tissues to a second incision distant from the first. Tissue that surrounds the passage through which the catheter passes heals tightly around the catheter, holding it in place.
Unlike non-tunneled catheters, tunneled catheters can remain in place for many months. They are used for intravenous infusions, the administration of chemotherapy, hemodialysis, and blood drawing.