percutaneous adj : through the unbroken skin; refers to medications applied directly to the skin (creams or ointments) or in time-release forms (skin patches); "transdermal estrogen"; "percutaneous absorption" [syn: transdermal, transdermic, transcutaneous]
- Taking place through the skin
In surgery, percutaneous pertains to any medical procedure where access to inner organs or other tissue is done via needle-puncture of the skin, rather than by using an "open" approach where inner organs or tissue are exposed (typically with the use of a scalpel).
The percutaneous approach is commonly used in vascular procedures. This involves a needle catheter getting access to a blood vessel, followed by the introduction of a wire through the lumen of the needle. It is over this wire that other catheters can be placed into the blood vessel. This technique is known as the modified Seldinger technique.
percutaneous in German: Perkutane Aufnahme