Cephalic Vein Cutdown Periprocedural Care

Updated: Mar 02, 2023
  • Author: Adam S Budzikowski, MD, PhD, FHRS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD, FACS  more...
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Periprocedural Care


Equipment used for cephalic vein cutdown includes the following:

  • Surgical blade, No. 11
  • Right-angle forceps
  • Metzenbaum curved dissecting scissors
  • Vein pick
  • Right-angle dissecting forceps
  • Two blunt self-retaining retractors (eg, Weitlaner)
  • Vascular forceps
  • Dilator, 5 French, or large-gauge peripheral intravenous cannula
  • Hydrophilic angiographic wire (eg, Glidewire, Zipwire) with angled-tip torquer tool
  • Fluoroscope

Patient Preparation


Local anesthesia with lidocaine is usually satisfactory when combined with procedural sedation. (See Local Anesthetic Agents, Infiltrative Administration and Procedural Sedation.) General anesthesia is very rarely necessary.


Position the patient supine, in such a manner that his or her arm can be extended if necessary.