Hi everyone

I’m due to have a PICC line fitted tomorrow and just wondering if anyone has any experience, good or bad.

I’m a bit nervous about it, I thought I was getting a port fitted, but it seems I misunderstood. How secure are they? Where are they fitted?

I’ve had 2 treatments so far and really struggling with my veins, so it would be a relief to not have to go through that each time. I’m worried though as I have a rather boisterous 3 year old and feel sick at the thought he might catch it or something.

TBH, I really have no idea what is involved. They’ve just made an appointment for me to have it put in and I’ve not had an opportunity to discuss it with anyone.

Many thanks


Hi Wubbly,
I had a PICC fitted on MOnday and would like to offer some reassurance.

Mine is in my upper arm. Quite high up. They start by looking at your arm on a sacnner to find a suitable vein. This took a bit of time but is no problem for the patient! In my case though they did have to try insertion in 2 veins before they found a suitable one. The insertion is a bit uncomfortable but I was given 3local anaesthetics and it wasn’t too bad. I’d suggest you ask for more LA if you need it. To be honest it was not as bad as the attempts to cannulate during previous chemos which I had found very difficult. Once they finally got a good vein and had inserted the line, the actuial pushing of guide wire then line did not hurt at all.

At one point they touched a nerve which did not hurt but was a weird feeling - like when you knock your funny bone - I nearly jumped off the table spontaneously!!

The other problem was that when they tested my line it had actuially gone up into my neck instead of round to the chest - I was v. surprised as I did not know this could happen! So the first part of the procedure took an hour (some would be quicker if its easy to find vein) but then we had to go to X-ray and move the line - this took a further hour and I had to hold my chin tight down onto my neck to stop the line going up there again.

So that was all OK and the line was used for chemo yesterday and it was great. I’m glad I’ve got it. I was very nervous before having it put in but am pleased I did it. (I’ve had 4 Epirubicin and am now starting CMF). Good luck. I’ll be interested to know how you get on.

Wubbly - do you go to Clatterbridge hospital by any chance? That’s where I went.

Re your 3 year old, I think you’ll just have to protect the area with a dressing and longer sleeves so that he can’t catch it by mistake. At the mo. mine is covered with quite a large dressing like cling film so nothing actually sticks out.


Thanks Sandripples.

From what you’ve said it doesn’t sound too bad, though I’m a bit ‘eek’ that it’s in your arm! For some reason I thought it would be in my chest. I’m not sure which is better.

Are you allowed to shower? That’s probably a really stupid question but I think I read somewhere it had to stay dry? I’m thinking B.O. will go down really well with the hairless lopsided breast look!

Can they take your bloods through the line too, or does that still have to go in a vein?

I’m up in the North East, at the Queen Elizabeth. They have been great, I can’t complain at all, but I’m just feeling a little confused over what I’m getting and what it entails. I think I’m resigned to having it done, my veins aren’t great at all and I’m a complete wuss when it comes to getting stuff stuck in 'em. I wailed like a banshee last time, totally embarrasing, blood pressure and pulse through the floor and an oxygen mask. Everyone else seems to just take it like a man!

I’ve only 4 more to go, one more FEC then 3 tax, so not too bad.


Hi Wubbly,

I had mine inserted on Monday (didn’t see your post, just added a new one so please do not read min, I don’t want to worry you as my neck disconfort may be noraml , as it took 2 goes under ultra sound, so probably normal) that said, it was much easier than I thought, as Sandripples said, they do give you a local, that stings a pit, then the only thing you can feel is a bit of ‘pushing’ I had mine in the top of my left arm and was advised to put my chin on my left shoulder to help prevent what happened to Sandripples, and it did work.
had bloods and chemo though without any problems yesterday yippee!!!

re bathing, I was advised to wrap cling film around the arm (esier sad than done!!! lol)but I managed it, had a bath (shower packed up!!!) but did manage to keep it dry, and no BO!!!

Very Best of luck, keep us informed on how you get on

love Jenny xxx


Hi again,

Yes they do take blood via the line as well. I have decided to have baths not showers so I don’t think I need cling film as I just keep left arm out of the water. This is OK with the dressing I’ve got at the moment - if I don’t continue to get the same sort of dressing I’ll use clingfilm when I bathe.

I also had to be put horizontal with oxygen at chemo which was last but one - that’s what persuaded me to go for the line!

You’ll be fine.


Hi. I had a PICC line fitted after my 2nd chemo and it was a godsend. No more hunting around for veins which had gone horrible and sore thanks to FEC, and blood tests / chemo sessions were subsequently a dawdle. Mine went into my left arm just above the elbow. I was asked to keep my chin down to prevent it going up the wrong branch of the vein, then was xrayed to check it was positioned correctly. My main hassle was having to go in and out of hospital every week to get the dressing changed, but to be honest I quite liked being seen more frequently and the extra nursing attention and chance to get questions / concerns answered. For me baths worked better than showers, although I was given a waterproof sleeve (called a limbo I think) which could keep it dry in a shower. There was no danger of it being accidentally pulled as it was well taped down and then the whole arm had a crepe ‘sleeve’ on top. I found it slightly uncomfortable for the first week or so, I think they said it was due to the veins going into a kind of spasm, and I kept my arm warm with a hot water bottle when that happened, but it settled down fine. I think you will be glad that you have it once you’ve had a chance to get accustomed to it.


I had a PICC line fitted last Sept and it wasn’t too bad.

The worst bit of the whole procedure was the local anaesthetic! - felt like a bee stink for a few mins, not very pleasant. But I was told that not everybody gets it, so I was just unlucky. They did ask me to lower my chin during the procedure to help it to go in the right place.

Mine was in the first time, upper left arm, had no trouble keeping it dry in the shower.

The arm was a bit uncomfortable / sore for the first 2 weeks afterwards, but it’s worth it. They can take blood from it, too. Easier for them and easier for me.

Hope that help xx

Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I’m sure it’s the right thing to do, but I’m not looking forward to it! Wish they’d just put me out tbh!

I’ve spoken to my BCN and she’s said it will probably go in my chest, near the collarbone. Not sure why it’s different to what everyone else has had, but no doubt I’ll find out tomorrow.

We’ve just had a new shower installed and it’s lovely, so I’ll miss that if I have to go back to baths, but hey ho, just another little irritation on this journey.

My son came home from Grandma’s tonight and launched himself at me like a freight train. Then it was 5 minutes of driving cars around Mummy’s head, neck, chest and arms. He’s been great with my ‘sore booby’ though, so I’m sure he’ll take care when I explain to him. He’s always examining me for bruises and sticky plasters!

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reassure me, it’s really appreciated. I’ll pop back on tomorrow and let you know how it’s gone.


Thinking about you Wubbly! How did you get on? I find driving still a bit uncomfroatebl today (Gear-changes) so only went short distance then stayed at home again today. But otherwise my line seems to be beahving fine and I haven’t needed any painkillers. Think I’ve been lucky so far with this bit.
Dinah xx

Hi everyone

Back home again. Glad it’s over and done with. The local anaesthetic wasn’t nice, but it worked, didn’t feel a thing after that.

It’s been put in my chest, just below the collar bone, via my neck, and taped down, so I am allowed to shower. The worst part is the dressing on my neck which is stretching the skin and makes it difficult to move my neck. Not sure how I’ll sleep tonight as it’s on my good side, but I’m shattered so I’m sure I’ll manage!

I’ve got to go to the chemo unit tomorrow to have it checked over so hopefully they’ll take the dressing off and I’ll be a bit more comfy.

Just so relieved it’s all done now. It really is an enormous weight lifted knowing I don’t have to go through the hunt a vein game again!


It’s only just dawned on me that I haven’t had a PICC line, it’s a central line. Doh.

That’s why it’s in my chest and not my arm like everyone else has had.

Not sure why they’ve gone for this option. It’s feeling rather tender, I hope that it passes soon.


I loved my line called groshon, it was a real lifesaver, I really do not know what I would have done without.

Thanks Janilizi, that’s the one I’ve had fitted I think, Groshong or something? It’s great to hear positive stuff.

It’s sore though. I am a total wuss these day mind you. I used to be a tough cookie but it’s wearing me down. The painkillers are starting to kick in again. Did you have any pain at first? Does it settle down fairly quickly?

I’m avoiding going to bed as I’m scared! Told you I was a wuss!


I hope it settles down soon Wubbly. Mine is also a little awkward in bed but still worth it.
Dinah xx

Thanks Dinah

I took a half of Lorazapam last night. I woke up in exactly the same position I’d fallen asleep in.

It’s feeling a little less sore today, but I’m keeping up on the painkillers.

I’ve been to the chemo unit and their happy with it, so all is well. Just got to get used to it. The only real problem is the tube is directly under my Miss Mary of Sweden style bra strap!


I had a Hickman line inserted with local anaesthetic and a sedative which really helped with the procedure. I found it uncomfortable for about a couple of weeks after, nothing too bad, just a slight pain in the neck - literally!

I wear a simple soft bra in bed in which to tuck the tubing in, as I hate the thought of it pulling if I turned over. Due to hot flushes now, I’ve ditched the nightie and wear briefs instead - not a pretty sight!

Well just to update. It seems to be settling in fine now. Just a little tender, but not too bad at all.

Still having to sleep propped up on my back, but glad I’ve had it done now.


Glad its going OK Wubbly. I have also been a bit careful sleeping but its got more settled each day and I am less conscious of it already. Hope you continue to do well. Good luck.

Hi Dinah

How are you getting on with your line?

My neck is still sore, but I’m managing with Ibuprofen and it’s getting better every day.

Just been in to have it flushed today and it’s doing just fine. They also managed to get some blood out of it, which is brilliant, no more needles!

Hope everyone is okay and doing well.