knackered veins

I have a hickman line and although I hate the poxy thing I can’t cope with nurses trying to access veins and failing to get a canula in. I had an infection a couple of weeks ago and had to be admitted to my local hospital and they refused to use it saying that they didn’t want to be blamed if anything went wrong. I then had to put up with 4 people trying to get a canula in it was very upsetting angry at myself now for not insisting that they use it. I would like it out but because of the herceptin decided to keep it in but it is an eyesore and a nuisance. I have to go and have it flushed every week at the clinic. The sort Dawn has sounds more fun Can you swim with it in Dawn? love Eileen

Yes eileen :slight_smile: - once the scar has healed there is nothing on the surface or coming out from the port. The problem is, I think, that not all hospitals have surgeons trained to put them in or nursing staff trained to access them.


Your portacath sounds just the ticket dawnhc. Can you feel it under your skin? Can you lie on it?


Hi Maggie,

The portacath is about size of £1 coin and dome shaped and hard so yes you can see the bump and feel it under the skin. There is no discomfort on pressing it or lying on it. I have had double mastectomy so it is placed about 2" below collarbone on my left side but some surgeons place it in breast tissue but I am told this isnt ideal as it can swivel when pressure is put on it to insert the gripper needle. The more stable it is, the better. I have put a photograph of it in situ on the bcpals site and a photo of the needle used to access it. If you access that forum then do a search on portacath it will come up -

Dear Dawnhc

You are such a star helping the rest of us with this. Thank you so much. From the heart.


Dawnhc, May I add my thanks for your help to that of Dilys. I’m going to log onto bcpals now.
Maggie xx.