Presternal catheters

Can anyone give me some information on presternal PD catheters? My dad is thinking about getting one for PD, he is not on dialysis yet.

Here’s some information about a presternal catheter including how it looks.

It is much easier to access to clean & doesnt’ rub against clothing.I loved mine - what kind of questions do you have?

Dear CJ,

Thanks for your reply. I cant really find out any information on the web except the article on All the other information on the web is medical articles for professionals. Was it an outpatient surgery? Have you ever had an infection? How long does yours extend out? Do you know anyone else who has one? My dad’s neph has never mentioned another option to the abdominal cath. Do you have any problems with it draining slower? What do you do with it when you arent hooked up? We live in a small town in South Carolina so I dont think many people know about the options they have with dialysis treatment. Im just really curious about the presternal cath because I told my dad and he is very interested. But I cant find out a lot of info and I have looked over the message board and I think you are the only person with one. Thanks so much!!!


Although this is a medical article, you might find some of the information that you’d like to know about the presternal catheter here. Also, at the end of the article is Dr. Twardowski’s email address. I’d suggest that you give this article to your father’s doctor and he can contact Dr. Twardowski about the experience with this catheter since this article was published. Around 1000 patients worldwide had used this catheter between 1991 and 2001 with more than 100 of them in Missouri.

Dear Beth,

Thanks for your reply. Im going to gather all the info together to take to the neph next week. If you find anything else, please keep me posted.


Ashleigh -
Knock on wood I have never had an infection - but I have been very careful about keeping my exit site & work area clean. The catheter itself extends about 6 inches out of my chest, but then it also has another 4 inch extenstion on it. So, about 10 inches in all. I use the little badge clips to clip the tubing to my clothing when not connected to the cycler. (I have an allergic reaction to most tapes)

Yes, it was done as an out-patient surgery - I went in on Friday & was back to work on Monday. I was a little tender on Saturday, but not to bad.

I’m in MO, and since this type of catheter was actually invented by a physician at the University of MO, I find it is probably more common in this state than others - so yes, I know several people that have this type of catheter. I would say of the 7-8 I personally know, they all are in agreement on this type of catheter being a good choice for them. I have no problems with drainage - but don’t think it drains any different than the other would.

Let me know if you have any other questions - I will be happy to answer them if I can. CJ

Dear CJ,

Thanks for your reply. I have emailed the doctor that invented it and he gave me the company name that makes the catheters for hospitals. There is actually one doctor in South Carolina that does it and I am in the process of contacting him. I will keep in touch! Congratulations on your transplant. That is really great! Good luck!


Hi Ashleigh, would you mind emailing or posting that information? My mom was just recently put on dialysis and since she lives with us I am the one who drives her 3x week for treatments. We see the surgeon on the 29th to discuss the PD cath, but want more info on the presternal so she can take baths. I’m not sure yet if he’s done one, but want to show up armed with all the info I can get. If he’s never done one, I’m going to find a doctor in Pittsburgh who has. It doesn’t seem to be very popular around here from what I’ve gathered. I also want to thank everyone for this site, it has been very comforting to me to be able to read and educate myself on all the different treatments available. I’m trying to get my mom interested in learning, but I think she would rather rely on me? Kim

I have had both types of catheters, the presternal is the better of the 2 in my book especially for men. The belly type was always put in at belt level. This caused a lot of irritation for me and a lot of tunnel infections. I only had the belly type for 8 months then I had a transplant. When the transplant failed and I went back on PD the doctor in the area only did presternal catheters. I figured I would try it. I have had mine for 5+ years and have no major problems with it. I don’t know how your father would feel about wearing a particular Item of ladies clothing. I wear a sports bra fruit of the loom style and the catheter tucks in nicely out of the way. My Catheter is about 12 inches long out of the chest then the Transfer set is another 6 inches or so. this gives me plenty of length to let it come out under my T-shirt when doing manual exchanges. The bra helps hold it in place at night when hooked up to the cycler. I was told to try using the sports bra because it is like wearing a short sleeveless T because it covers the site and holds the catheter in place so well I have no need for tape. I don’t do Tape to well since the belly type catheter made me sensitive to the adhesive. I have had no infections of the exit site and I got them all the time with the other type. I also find this much easier to clean and take care of I can see it where on the other one my belly hung over so much I could not see the exit site without a mirror. so from my experience the presternal is the better of the 2.

Just curious, anonymous–are you in MO, too, or were you able to get a presternal catheter in another state?

A few years ago, I talked with a representative of Kendall (now a part of a company called Covidien) about presternal catheters and learned they are available in several states. Hospitals are usually their customers. Here’s info about the presternal catheter from Kendall’s website:

You may want to call the company to find out if they are sold to hospitals in your area. Here’s the contact info for Covidien:

Telephone: 1-800-962-9888
Mailing Address:
Customer Service
15 Hampshire Street
Mansfield, Massachusetts 02048
Reimbursement Hot Line: 1-800-346-7197 x6076#
Email Us at:

[QUOTE=Anonymous;7828]Dear CJ,

Thanks for your reply. I have emailed the doctor that invented it and he gave me the company name that makes the catheters for hospitals. There is actually one doctor in South Carolina that does it and I am in the process of contacting him. I will keep in touch! Congratulations on your transplant. That is really great! Good luck!


Hi Ashleigh, I live in South Carolina, my husband is going on pd,could you tell me where in sc the Dr. is that does the presternal. Thank you Charlotte

Ashleigh posted that message 6 years ago. Your best bet to get up-to-date information would be to call the company (Covidien) that makes the presternal catheter and ask for the sales rep for SC. He/she should know what hospital(s) is ordering and the sales rep or the hospital should know what doctor(s) is placing presternal cathethers. The phone number is 1-800-962-9888.