Hickman v PICC v Portacath

I’ve just had asecondary bone dx, and from what I read think I’ll be in for IV Zometa or similar. My concern is I have 1 vein, which is deep and very few people can find it - it took 2 hours for them to cannulaise me for my 2nd chamo first time round, so they fitted a Hickman (don’t think PICC was considered due to vein difficulty)but I got septicemia from that and spent 30 days in hospital over 3 10 day periods.

I read about portacath, but don’t really know what it is - is it easier to cope with?

Hi broomsticklady,

I have had a portacath now for nearly 5 years and never had a days trouble with it. It sits totally hidden under the skin - mine is just about an inch below my collarbone on the left side. Because I have had mastectomies and am fairly slim you can see a small bulge where it is - i.e. little flesh to disguise it! The scarring is absolutely minimal on mine. Some surgeons will do it under local and others will only consider a G.A. Bloods are taken from it, and most stuff that needs to go in can go via it as well. I know that there are some newer models around since I had mine LOL and I think can be used for more things than the original - I am sure others will be along who can tell you more.

I think it is only fair to say that not everyone has success with them and things can go wrong and again I hope others will be honest and tell you about that too. I wouldn’t be without mine. Ever since I have had it I need to have it accessed every 3 weeks for zometa and herceptin so it has been really worthwhile. You might be told that veins do recover but that is not always so - mine never have.