Hodgkin lymphoma

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Port vs PICC

Posted by


I had my second chemo session last week and have been in a lot of pain with the arm used and the breast on that side also hurts :( I've been told by nurses I have tiny veins, I've already have one in the other arm leak when I had an antibiotic IV - the vein is still sore and hard where that happened. They also have trouble getting blood out of me.

My consultant suggested a PICC line yesterday. I'm apprehensive because I'll be constantly open to infection and when I was in hospital a few weeks ago, a woman came in who has a clot due to her PICC line and she didn't even know she had it - so no symptoms.

What I'd really like is a Port-A-Cath. I wondered if anybody has either of these or any experiences. I want to request the Port, has anybody done this?

Thank you.

Posted by


I have just had a PICC line inserted, 3 days ago, due to thin veins.  Chemo 2 required 10 cannulae and was not a bundle of laughs, so I asked for a PICC line to be inserted.  I was told that  a portacath is a more invasive treatment and is not favoured by my hospital.

The insertion of the PICC line was fine, it didn't really hurt, despite them having 2 goes at placing it in my arm.  My husband has been instructed in how to flush the line and clean the area. A bit of a faff, but maneagable with good hygiene.

My main problem with it is coping with the 'dangly bit' in bed.  I don't want to pull the line out when I turn over! I am wrapping a crepe bandage around my arm at night to secure it, and I have purchased an elbow support 'bandage/sleeve thing' on-line to try out. Don't know if it will work, but worth a try.

Posted by

Hi My daughter has had her PICC line in now since 4th Jan 12. It has been great. she has it flushed be me one week and then the day before she goes to have treatment she has it cleaned and flushed again by nurse once she has taken bloods. you cna keep an eye on it and make sure that the entry site is kept clean.

there is a 'limbo' you cna purchase to cover the arm when in the bath and shower. unsure who the company was but goolge it and you should be able to get one on line. cost £11.  its is another worhtwhile bit of kit. My daughter says as ong as it is covered by sterile dressing and a tubergrip yuo should not snag it. occassionally she will get a slight pressure sore from the swanlock when it is resting on her skin but you just make sure that the next time you clean it you change posiotn of the line .

ask you nurse for extra kits because you may   need to change dressing more than once especially if your someone who cna perspire alot or get hot and sticky.

once you get hang of it then the picc is great. it saves on all the hassle of blood takien from vein via needles. also when my daughter was in hosptial her IV antibiotics was givne to her through the picc like your chemo is.

hope you get on ok with it.


Posted by

Hi there,

Last year I completed 4 courses of ABVD and no PICC line. I only wish that I knew more about PICC lines back then. I am now on a course of BEACOPP (minus the B drug) and have a PICC line.

ABVD made by viens and arms hurt a lot. I now have very poor veins, before the PICC line was put in in May 2012 they even tried to get blood from my feet - not a good idea - failed anyway.

My PICC line is fab and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It saves all the pain of being in pain and getting anxious.

I also, have been admitted to hospital for IV antibiotics in May and June 2012. The PICC line again made things so much easier for me. I am very grateful to having one in at the moment.

Thanks and all the best.


Posted by

Hi Relic

Have only just seen your post so hope this 'two penneth' of mine isn't too late but i would definitely recommend having a port fitted.

It was a procedure that took about an hour under sedation but was ready to use pretty much straight away.

I think NHS hospitals are wary of them as they're relatively expensive to fit but will save you so much pain and time messing about with needles. 

The only downside is that I have a scar, less than an inch long but quite predominant on my chest. it was worth it though.

Hayley x