Catheter - Definition

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A catheter is a medical device used to dispense or withdraw fluids from the body. The catheter is in the form of a long thin tube inserted into a vessel or body cavity. Catheters are used for sustained drug or fluid injections. They avoid repeated injections and thus reduce the risk of infection. Catheters are also used to extract an abnormal quantity of fluid, such as blood or pus. In some cases, like heavy treatments requiring repeated injections (chemotherapy), catheters can be implanted and left for the long term: these are implantable ports.