A Foreign Body in the Cephalic Vein: Broken Piece of Intravenous Cannula

Cureus. 2021 Oct 16;13(10):e18813. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18813. eCollection 2021 Oct.


Peripheral intravenous cannulation is a routine in the medical field with the rarity of complications in expert hands. However, at times, complications arise including the fracture of the cannula inside the vein, which is a rare but potentially serious complication with the possibility of pulmonary embolism. We have reported a case of a broken piece of a cannula in the cephalic vein removed with the help of a Fogarty catheter with the emphasis on preoperative imaging studies to localize it and use of a tourniquet to avoid distal migration during retrieval. There are varied reports about the conservative vs operative approaches for foreign bodies in vasculature. It should be removed in the first place where expertise allow so that the rare but potentially serious complications can be avoided.

Keywords: catheterization; cephalic vein; fractured intravenous cannula; intravascular foreign body; peripheral/adverse effects"; retained cannula.

Publication types

  • Case Reports