Chemo damage to veins permanent?

I finished chemo 18 months ago and although I had no problems at the time with my veins, during a recent short stay in hospital for a minor op everyone seemed to have trouble both in finding ‘good’ veins and then in extrcacting blood from them

Does anyone know if this is likely to be a permanent problem or do the veins gradually recover?

i think for the majority of people the functioning of their veins returns in time but for a small minority it may take a very long time to recover or perhaps not at all.

im only 6 months post chemo and my veins are pants… they werent that great before hand but they are really rubbish now.

a heat pad or running your hand in hot water can some times help and also drinking plenty fluids before hand if your not fasting can all help a little… but my problem isnt just find a good vein its the fact its agonising while its in the vein as they are just so tender… for the majority of people it is only sore going through the skin but if you have been chemofied then you can feel it going through the skin and then into the vein.

you could maybe try brufen gel too as a topical pain killer… i find it quite soothing but takes about 20 mins to be come effective.


Hi mine were really bad, totally awful during chemo and afterwards got sent home from various scans due to viens, that was 18 months ago, had few needles recently and all went to plan couldnt believe it so fingers crossed for you xx

I had very poor veins before chemo as I have suffered from poor circulation all of my life. I was told that the vein in the crook of my right arm is completely thromboid and it might be permanent. I had to have a blood test done a year ago and the nurse couldn’t do it - she got a Registrar to try and even she struggled. I was left with a massive bruise on my arm which took a fortnight to fade. The backs of my hands are also very mottled from all the needles - the oncologists gave permission for my “bad” arm/hand to be used for Herceptin on account of all the problems I suffered with the good side; I suffered a severe chemo burn on the good side which emerged 7 days after my final dose of Taxotere.

Hi, I am almost a year since last chemo and the “chemo arm” still cannot be used for blood tests etc due to lack of veins. At my recent CT scan they had to use the other arm to put the dye stuff in but I was told its not considered such a problem to use the side where there cancer was anymore so I guess one good arm is better than none - have been told in time the veins are likely to recover - regards, Debbie x

I’d like to know whether veins recover or not. The main vein down the middle of my forearm on the underside feels like a cord and the skin is tethered from the wrist to bend in elbow due to epirubicin. I’d like to know if blood is still flowing through this ‘cord’ and what exactly has happened. I’m seeing the onc tomorrow so will ask and I’ll post whatever answer I get.

Spoke to onc today and basically because my veins have been damaged now for a few weeks, they aren’t going to recover. She said it would be ok to have blood taken from the operation side, but it’s dodgier (my words not hers!) to have stuff injected into operated side.

steph sometimes the veins on the other side arent a great deal better… because the chemo goes around your body through all the veins.

mine are pretty rubbish in both arms although i did get my first dose of chemo in the right arm over a year ago as that wasnt the most recently affected side… but after getting pain about 10 days after first chemo and the vein tissueing twice when then put the cannula in prior to the second dose so i told them they couldnt use that side… especially as im right handed.

the pains in my arms arent as bad as they were during treatment but the veins are still majorly pants for getting bloods taken of for getting cannulas inserted.


Hmmm… Lulu, I didn’t think that the other side could be affected by chemo, but it makes sense. I wonder if I’d had a hickman line in sooner, whether the Epi could have damaged inside of heart, although I know it’s a faster blood flow in there.

I have cream prescribed by help with pain in veins. Im hoping my veins recover.

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My chemo veins are getting worse had 2 e treatments beginning August then hickman thought they would improve but now its worse than ever and nobody is interested won’t even look at it I can feel the cords on front and inside if arm into armpit…and now the bad arms joining in despite the exercises.