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11 years 3 months ago #25611 by TheWifeAgain
I currently have a PICC line and it is efficient and easy to take care of. I did have one problem when it became blocked but the nurse came and did a cath flow (all she did was but some medication in the line) and it cleared the line in 1/2 an hour.
As far as having the PICC line inserted I recommend requesting a sedative or relaxing pill. It was slightly uncomfortable and I think I was tense which made the procedure a little painful. I would ask for some type of chill pill if I had to have another one inserted. My arm was sore and felt like I had a pulled muscle for about 5 days after insertion. Once it's in doesn't hurt at all.
I've had my line in for 8 weeks now and have no complications or problems. I should mention that I do not have my line because of bladder cancer. I come to this site becasue my husband is the bladder cancer patient.
What a pair we are!

Age 53 Currently
Bladder Cancer Diagnosis October 2006 T1G3
2011 Finally made it 6 month between Cystos
8/22/2011 Cysto in the OR
(BCG and BCG Maintenance over the years)
Graduated to yearly Cystos
Tumor found at first one year Cysto - TURBT 4/26/2013
Kidney pain - CT scan 5/1/2013

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11 years 3 months ago #25608 by mmc

There is a difference between colonization and infection. Usually, the "symptoms" are the differentiator between the two.

One of the reasons docs don't what to treat w/antibiotics every time is the chance of building resistant strains of the bacteria.


Age 54
10/31/06 dx CIS (TisG3) non-invasive (at 47)
9/19/08 TURB/TUIP dx Invasive T2G3
10/8/08 RC neobladder(at 49)
2/15/13 T4G3N3M1 distant metastases(at 53)
9/2013 finished chemo -cancer free again
1/2014 ct scan results....distant mets
2/2014 ct result...spread to liver, kidneys, and lymph...

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11 years 3 months ago #25598 by harleygirl
Thanks for the info. My Dad had his stents changed out on Monday and I asked that the stents be cultured as Dad has been hit with a high number of UTIs. His uro's office called to tell him that there was indeed an infection on the stents and it would require IV antibiotics. Dad neglected to ask what the infection is. He just finished a course of Cipro this week for a UTI.

He has previously been diagnosed with VRE (vancomycin resistant enteroccocus) but the infectious disease doc said they would not treat it unless he has symptoms. He sees a new infectious disease doc on Tuesday to discuss treatment. Dad has no symptoms so maybe nothing will be done.

Dad had a PICC line for a few months at the beginning of this year with no problems but he is not looking forward to having another. That's why I was asking about a port. Dad's veins are shot, to say the least.

Guess we'll know more on Tuesday.

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11 years 3 months ago #25594 by Rockyiss
Hi Harley girl, I had a picc line for treatment for lyme disease. It wasn,t to big a deal I just had to be careful to keep it covered and flushed. At four weeks it had to be taken out because it quit working. they put a regular i.v. in for the remaining two weeks.
My husband has a port. (He had non hodgkind lymphoma). A surgeon sedated him to put it in , he was sore for awhile but was very happy to have it because his veins were hard to acsess. The Dr. told him he wanted him to keep it at least five years. He goes in to have it flushed once a month.
His biggest complaint about it is he can't sleep on his left side, and that is his favorite side to sleep on.Lying on his right side makes his right hip ache. He tells everyone if they need treatment the port is the way to go.
My sister in law has porphria and has had a port for six years ,she gets fluids and meds thru hers ( she has never had chemo ).Hope this helps you. Rocky

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11 years 3 months ago #25592 by Patricia
PICC lines are used when intravenous access is required over a prolonged period of time, as in the case of long chemotherapy regimens, extended antibiotic therapy, or total parenteral nutrition.

The PICC line is inserted into a peripheral vein using the Seldinger technique under ultrasound guidance, usually in the arm, and then carefully advanced upward until the catheter is in the superior vena cava or the right atrium. This is usually done by feel and estimation; an X-ray then verifies that the tip is in the right place. Usually...but i had to have a PICC line and it had to be done by a radiologist.

A PICC may have two parallel compartments, each with its own external connector (double-lumen), or a single tube and connector (single-lumen). Triple connectors (triple-lumen) catheters and power-injectable PICCs are now available as well. From the outside, a single-lumen PICC resembles a peripheral IV, except that the tubing is slightly wider.

The insertion site must be covered by a larger sterile dressing than would be required for a peripheral IV, due to the higher risk of infection if bacteria travel up the catheter. However, a PICC poses less of a systemic infection risk than other central IVs, because bacteria would have to travel up the entire length of the narrow catheter before spreading through the bloodstream.

The chief advantage of a PICC over other types of central lines is that it is easy to insert, poses a relatively low risk of bleeding, is externally unobtrusive, and can be left in place for months to years for patients who require extended treatment. The chief disadvantage is that it must travel through a relatively small peripheral vein and is therefore limited in diameter, and also somewhat vulnerable to occlusion or damage from movement or squeezing of the arm

And just to add to Eddies post on a Port...... It is possible to leave the ports in the patient's body for years; if this is done however, the port must be accessed monthly and flushed with an anti-coagulant, or the patient risks it getting plugged up. If it is plugged it becomes a hazard as a thrombus will eventually form with an accompanying risk of embolisation. Removal of a port is usually a simple outpatient procedure; however, installation is more complex and a good implant is fairly dependent on the skill of the radiologist. Ports cause less inconvenience and have a lower risk of infection than PICCs, and are therefore commonly used for patients on long-term intermittent treatment.

Have you been offered a choice? Pat

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11 years 3 months ago #25589 by eddiek

Cynthia had a port while she was going through systemic chemotherapy in early 2005. Here's what I remember:

> It was installed by interventional radiology.

> She did feel some pain and discomfort during the procedure.

> It was used within a few days of being installed for her chemotherapy treatment.

> I believe that there was some muscle soreness following the procedure.

> I'm sure that there is a limit on how long one can remain, but she had hers for about one year.

> They do require periodic flushing to ensure that they remain in good condition.

> I don't believe that she experienced too much pain when it was removed.

I've heard the term PICC line, but I don't have any information about what one is or how it compares with the port.

Hope the information above is helpful to you.

Ed K.

Edward J. Kinsella
American Bladder Cancer Society
Board of Directors - Secretary/Clerk

& Caregiver

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