Hickman line

Hi everyone, I went for my first seesion of Chemo yesterday but all didn’t go according to plan after much soaking of my hand numerous attempts of trying to find a vein two bouts of feinting where my blood pressure dropped to 66/40 the oncologist came to me and decided it would be best to have a hickman line inseted.

Has any body any advice or tips regarding the line?

Best Regards

Nelly x

Hi Nelly,

My wife has a groshong line which is similar I believe and she has found it far easier as her veins have always been too small/collapsed etc. Although it needs flushing a couple of times a week and the site itself needs to be checked for infection, she has had hers in since last April without any problems.

The only real issue she has is keeping the cats away from it when she’s getting changed :wink:

Hope that helps but bumps up your request at the very least,


It’s good to here that there are generally no problems with a line.It certainly will save on being a pincushion!

Kind Regards


Hi Nelly
My Hickman is a god send. Gets in the way a bit at first but you gradually learn the best places to tape it up. I look after mine myself which means no hanging around for the DN’s. Slight advantage there though as am a nurse but know of other people with no experience of these things coping well.
Hope it all goes well.

Rather than a hickman line I had a PICC line which does the same job but goes in just below the inside of your elbow. It was a bit weird getting it in - not sore! - but a godsend once it was in. Maybe that’s another avenue u could explore. Hope treatment goes well for you. Kim x

if you can get a Port a Cath it is easier to look after - no flushing etc - there is a thread on Ports here somewhere I have one and it is no problem at all and you can bathe/shower etc easily as it is under the skin. The fitting is ok - you are awake but sedated.

I had a Hickman line after the 3rd chemo, I was TERRIFIED of having it in but it was fine, made chemotherapy so much easier and my arm recovered quickly from the severe phlebitis and vein hardening I had suffered during the first 3 FEC.
I now just have a tiny scar where ist was inserted, you can hardly see it.
If I ever had chemo again I would go for a Hickman line straight away, as the vein damage was so painful,
Hope this helps,