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Keeping PICC line after chemo

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2018

I will be finishing up Epoch chemo next week, and I mentioned something to my doctor about removing the PICC line once I was done. I was told to keep it in for a "couple of weeks" in case "it's needed." Then I was told it could be used for a PET scan scheduled for a few weeks from now.

Having this PICC line danglinig from my arm is a real pain -- it's in the way, I frequently get it caught on things, and I can never cover it up enough to keep it dry when I shower and the aqua seal I use to help keep it dry ends up pulling the adhesive off the line. If they only want me to keep it in for their convenience I'd just as soon have it out once chemo is done. I have plenty of veins they can use for scans.

Ia keeping it in standard procedure?

Evarista's picture
Posts: 320
Joined: May 2017

I don't know if it's "common practice", but I was also encouraged to keep my double PICC lines in for several weeks after finishing chemo.  Between the blood draws and the PET scan, it was useful, although I hated it.  In my case, I think it was also safer since my platelets were so low (i.e., bleeding after blood draws).  To deal with the aggravation, a couple of suggestions:  

1) buy or beg from clinic some of the stretchy mesh sleeve material to hold it in place.  This stuff: https://www.amazon.com/Derma-Sciences-GL704-Surgilast-Dressing/dp/B00RDIMJUQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1539306966&sr=8-3&keywords=medical%2Bmesh%2Bsleeve&th=1  I would just ask the Med Tech for a length every time I got blood work.  

2) For showering, buy some AnchorDry sheets from Amazon...So much more effective than the Press N Seal from the grocery store. I recomment the 9-inch squares (https://www.amazon.com/Shower-Shield-SS99-Moisture-Barrier/dp/B007ED2SZ6/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1539307296&sr=8-4&keywords=anchordry).  It's a little pricey, but you won't need it for long.

Good luck with everything.

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2018

Thanks for the suggestions!

Scubamom for two's picture
Scubamom for two
Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2018

I got my PICC taken out before leaving the hospital after 6 rounds of DA-R-EPOCH and two consolidation rounds of High Dose Methotrexate.  When I saw my Dr. and team for my first follow-up about two weeks later, he asked about my PICC-line, but seemed fine that the Dr. in the hospital allowed it to be removed.  It was so great to take regular showers and not have to flush it every day and get the dressing changed weekly!  I don't mind them having to put a new IV in for my quarterly scans at all in comparison!  Good luck getting it out soon!


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