Jump to content

Do you want up to date information about Scleroderma? Check out our Medical pages at www.sclero.org for all your Scleroderma questions!


Picc Line Verses Portacath

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 kathygirl


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts

Posted 17 April 2007 - 06:29 AM

Hello to everyone
Who knows what about portacath and picc lines? Yesterday I was sent home from the hospital because the nurses coulndt find a vein. And believe me they tried. It was mentioned by one of the doctors maybe a picc line is needed. Im starting to get a little freaked out by doctors needles and procedures.I was to have an endoscopy colonoscopy and the doctor said it was the first timein his experience that they could not get a vein and had to send a patient home.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Kathy

#2 janey


    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,118 posts
  • Location:New Mexico

Posted 17 April 2007 - 07:08 AM

I'll share the little bit of information that I know. I had a picc line for a couple of weeks when I was hospitalized. I was getting 6 to 8 infusions a day and sometimes 2 at times, so they installed a two input picc. I was told that I could leave it in for up to a year in most cases. However, I did choose to have it removed when I left the hospital because the two input ports dangled from the middle of my upper arm and I didn't want to have to deal with that everyday. The picc was inserted in the middle of the upper arm and a 14" tube was threaded through the vein to the chest using an ultrasound. I watched the procedure and it was pretty cool.

My infusion nurse has suggested I get a port (he too has problems finding my veins). He showed me one on a young man one day. It's an IV port directly in the chest. Apparently it can stay in for several years and doesn't have things hanging from your body like the picc.

That's my limited experience. To date, I choose to tolerate the hunt and peck for a little while longer. I'm so sorry that you are having this problem. It certainly isn't fun and when they have to give up, I'm sure that's quite frustrating. Hope you find a livable solution.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster
(Retired) ISN News Director
(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 nan


    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 649 posts

Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:11 AM

] I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that prep for a colonoscopy and weren't able to go through with it. I don't anything about picc line or port. Take care of yourself.
Nan know

#4 Sheryl


    Platinum Member

  • ISN Support Specialists
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, Michigan

Posted 17 April 2007 - 10:33 AM

My sister has an IV port. It was installed about 15 years ago. Nothing was ever mentioned about removing it.
I have had IV's in my foot and in my neck. They either blow the veins or the IV solution starts going elsewhere. Now, that is painful for weeks afterwards. I think I would choose a permanant IV port. Now, you have to drink the wonderful liquid refreshment all over again? Yuck. Maybe, they should have tried your foot or neck. I also only have them use the green colored butterfly needle system. Usually used on Children. That's my speck of input. Sheryl
Strength and Warmth,

Sheryl Doom
ISN Support Specialist
(Retired) ISN Chat Moderator
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 adensmore


    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Location:Raleigh, NC

Posted 18 April 2007 - 01:54 AM

I have a port. It's a surgical procedure to have it placed, but it's not bad. Mine is located under the skin on the upper right side of my chest. I do notice there because it itches sometimes. My viens are terrible and I was becoming a human pin cushion. Most doctors don't like to use your port for anesthia because they don't have the special huber needle in their offices needed to access the port. It's a real catch 22. Only RN's can access a port, not phelobotomists or LPN's. Picc lines can be accessed by anyone, but they require a lot more maintenance because they are just "dangling" out of a vein and have to be protected from getting wet.

I like my port, but any time I need anesthia or a ton of blood work I have to go to Duke and get them to temporarily access it prior to the procedure. It's way better than being stuck 6-8 time looking for vien.

#6 Gidget


    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 201 posts

Posted 22 April 2007 - 10:11 AM

I'm on IV Cytoxan and have a port. To me, it made more sense because I swim and once the stiches have healed, you can pretty much do anything while with a pic line you need to be careful of infection. I have terrible veins and it is a pain to have blood drawn as only an RN can draw it through a port -- so it means alot of labs cannot draw the blood. I have great veins in my feet, but here also, the labs are not allowed to draw the blood from the foot. The other downside of the port is that I hate the way it looks. It is a bump under the skin by my bra strap and to me it makes me feel like frankenstein. good luck. gidget