I had a PICC line and would recommended that you get one. They go in just above the elbow and a specialist nurse can do it using a local anaesthetic - you won't feel a thing. After it is placed you have an xray to make sure it is in the right place. All of your drugs go via it and they take your blood for testing from it too.
It does have to be flushed every week/10 days and some units want you to go to them and other places send a district nurse out to you. It is painless but it takes a couple of days to get used to it being there. You should get your own covers from Live better with cancer, they cost about £20 but are better than the hospital stockingette. You can get the shower proof one on prescription from your GP so don't buy it.
My unit fitted PICCS on request but some of them make you wait until your veins crash which can be sore.
Ports and Hickman's have to be fitted by a surgeon because there is an incision and they have to move tissue out of the way. A PICC is just a needle into your vein hence a nurse can do it. Get one if you can xxx
Hi MahjFarn, PICC line is into arm and lasts a few months. You will need to wear a special sleeve to cover it. Hickman Line goes into top chest and lasts six months. Can be double or single . Hangs down over boob like an elephants trunk.
Portacath is like a little jelly bean near neck. I think this is usually used for palliative care, but don't quote me.
Decision is usually made by your Onco , and I'm sure costs come into it. The Hickman line and Portacath need a surgeon and theatre time. The PICC line does as well, but is quicker. All need weekly maintenance to keep clean .
The decision for having these is nothing to do with the drugs but how good, or poor, your veins are. The chemicals are very toxic and the veins do thin and collapse over time.
Good luck with pathways. 🍀
After being diagnosed in March and told I would be having radiotherapy, there is now a change. After failed lumpectomy and now a mastectomy, the results have shown multiple areas of cancer, a large tumour and 2 affected lymph. Consultant has referred me to oncologist to discuss chemotherapy (total shock as was told I wouldn't need chemo has it doesn't really have an effect on lobular breast cancer). I was told we'd go over percentages and benefits so I could decide if I want to go down this route. I have read that some people have picks and some have ports.How is the decision made for which methods of receiving the chemo drugs and what's the differences between the different methods?