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PICC line

melbas's picture
Posts: 43
Joined: Jul 2010

I am having a Picc line inserted tomorrow for nal cance. Can anyone tell me what to expect? Thanks, Melbas

z's picture
Posts: 1336
Joined: May 2009

Hi Melbas,

I have a port. My understanding of a PICC line is they spray lidocane (numming solution) on your hand and they insert the PICC into a vein in your hand, where it will stay until you are done with the chemo. The chemo nurses I had were great, and they treat many cancer patients, so they have lots of practice. I hope that it will go smoothly for you. Just let the nurses know if your feeling any pain, and they can help you. Good luck to you tomorrow, and let us know how it goes. And welcome to the board and am sorry you have to be here. Lori

lizdeli's picture
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2009

I had a PICC line. It started in my upper arm. It really didn't hurt. I remember it stinging more than hurting. To be honest I didnt' watch them insert it. I kept my head turned away. Once it was it I do remember some aching on that side. I told the nurses about it but they said it was normal to feel that. It subsided. They will do a chest xray to make sure it is inserted correctly. I think it goes from the arm to close to the heart so they check to make sure all is okay.

Good luck tomorrow Melbas. The first days are so scary. It does get a little easier once things are started and you get pasted all the tests, etc. Wishing you healing and strength.

z's picture
Posts: 1336
Joined: May 2009


If you do a search on PICC either in the anal cancer board, or entire CSN content, you'll get a lot of information about PICC lines.


mp327's picture
Posts: 3467
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm sorry your circumstances have brought you here and I hope all goes well today with your picc line insertion. I had a port, but many people get the picc's and do fine with them--I'm sure you will too. Best wishes.

Posts: 300
Joined: May 2010

It feels pretty good to be able to come in here to explain something to someone else. I was in your spot only a week ago so my memory is fresh about a PICC line. I know I was scared because I did not know what to expect and for me that is the hardest part. They put my PICC on my right arm because they said the vein was better there. It is placed on the underside of your arm, about 3" or so above the elbow. It's out of the way so you can still bend your elbow. They give you novacaine I believe to numb the area and that is the only thing I felt, a prick from the novacaine. The line is actually a flexible tube they insert then into your vein and the practitioner that did my line let me see what it looked like and explained that the vein it is going into is quite large so it hangs there while the chemo is dripping into the vein. I kind of pictured a large pipe with a small tube hanging down in the middle dripping drops of water. Once the PICC line is in they then can give you your chemo (depending on what you are getting). The M drug which I can't remember the total name for it right now is given first and they wait an hour with you resting. Then someone came in separately with the chemo bag and attached that. There is some tenderness of course but not anything severe. I had my PICC removed at the end of the week because I was experiencing fevers. They felt they could do another one in a month when I have my final chemo/rad combination.

Someone mentioned to me to cut a sock and cover your arm with that - I liked that idea because it kept it together so to speak. The first night I did not sleep well as I was afraid I would roll over the line or the pouch but it was not like that at all. You will do fine - I know all of this is overwhelming, it still is to me, but you are in a good place...the people in here are awesome and uplift and help whenever they can. I am sorry we are all in here for the same reason but I am proud that I can be part of that team now. You'll be surprised at how much easier this is than it sounds. If you have any questions let me know. Everything is still fresh for me. Be well, Marilyne

z's picture
Posts: 1336
Joined: May 2009

Hi Melbas,

Sorry I was so off with the PICC in the hand. I hope you did a search, so you could get the right information. I hope your day went well and you've started your treatment. Please ask any and all ? about anything you want, and I promise I won't answer unless I have experienced it myself. I wish you well. Lori

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