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Portacath or Hickman line?

3 REPLIES 3
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Member

Re: Portacath or Hickman line?

Things have changed. I am now only having a herceptin inj in the thigh for a year so won't need anything perm in my arm at the mo.

Thanks for your comments.
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Community Champion

Re: Portacath or Hickman line?

Hi Camilla, I'm surprised you have been given a choice. I had a Hickman line fitted as my chemo was expected to last six months and my veins are very narrow ( thready was the term used !) . I wasn't given an option. As I understand it, a portacath would have been offered if my treatment was longer than that. I wasn't offered a PICC line as it has a shorter life than the Hickman. The Hickman line is flushed weekly, but arrangements can be made to do it at other hospitals if you go on holiday in th UK. My experience of the insertion of the line was not marvellous due to my very narrow veins, so I certainly wouldn't want to repeat it!  Swimming is a no no. We  are all so very different that any comments here are going to be extremely subjective. I suggest you go back to your medical team and explain your quandary so that you can get expert medical advice.  You should then be able to make an informed choice. X

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Member

Re: Portacath or Hickman line?

Hi Camilla

I had a PICC first, which needed flushing weekly. But I developed an allergy to the dressings and a blood clot (a side effect of any line, plus added risk being on chemo) and so it needed to come out. I then had a Port fitted. Flushing is only needed if not in use, every 8 weeks. So with 3 weekly treatment there are no additional visits to make. I use numbing cream to the skin an hour before access is needed, and I don’t feel a thing while it’s in use. It’s positioned under my skin just to the left of where my right bra strap goes and the cannula passes up and over my collarbone. It feels slightly raised but can’t really be noticed, and doesn’t cause me any issues. I was sedated for the procedure which was very straightforward and they did an X-ray before I went home to check it was in the right position. You can swim with it so wouldn’t restrict you with that. Hope some of that might help?! 

 

Good luck with making the decision. Xx

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Member

Portacath or Hickman line?

I have just completed 7 rounds of chemo prior to an op and because I had 2 arms available I just had a cannula fitted every time and it worked well. Now it would seem that I may be having Herceptin and pertuzumab every 3 weeks for a year so now may need something permanent in my arm.

 

What do people suggest? I understand going weekly to hosp to be flushed is part of it which means for a year I couldn't really leave my home town. (My daughter and grandson live 300 miles away) I also like to swim.

 

I could just be cannulated every time... I'm in a quandary. Any suggestions re your experiences gratefully received.