Insertion of line

Hello, I had a right mastectomy with full node clearance in 2004. I am now waiting for a left mastectomy with full node clearance on the 25th April. My surgeon has mentioned a line because of the removal of lymph nodes, is there anyone on here had one please. Getting concerned now as it’s nearing “my time”. Thanks for reading.xx

Hi, not sure what you’re looking for from your message. Do you mean a central line, a PICC line?

I’ve just had a Portacath fitted this week if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for info on.

Hi yes it was a PICC line. x


A PICC line is inserted into a big vein usually in the upper inside part of your arm. It’s done under local anaesthetic and doesn’t hurt much going in. Sometimes you have an x-ray afterwards to check the position.
You have a dressing over it and will need a cover for when you shower.
It’s dressed and flushed weekly when it’s not a treatment week.
They can stay in place for month’s.
They enable blood tests, fluids and chemo without additional needles.
They are slightly uncomfortable but you do get used to it. I can sleep on mine and made stretchy PICC line covers in different colours to cover it.
Occasionally they can become blocked or get infected so you do have to be a bit careful of it and follow all the advice. Oh and no swimming, hot tubs etc.
Hope that helps. Xxx

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Hi thank you for reply. Have you had all lymph glands removed?

Hi, I had a right mastectomy and full lymph clearance Aug 2022 and had a picc line fitted in sep 2022. As already said, it’s fitted into a big vein, mine was done by ultrasound so got it right first time. Didn’t hurt having it and made treatment easier as no further needles. Slightly uncomfortable but got used to it, I followed all the care instructions and had no problems at all with it, in fact when I had it cleaned and flushed, it was the best feeling ever! Hope this helps, take care and stay strong xx

No, only a sentinel node biopsy which thankfully was negative.
They usually fit the PICC line on the non surgery side.