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Thread: Pic line vs. Port from mstein

  1. #1
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    Question Pic line vs. Port from mstein

    I am sick every month and I use a pic line What are the advantages of using a port over a pic line And what is a port and where and how is it inserted?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    You need a port. It's so much nicer and easier come IV time. Basically a port is an implanted device that feeds into a major vein that goes into your heart. It's about the size of a quarter and has a plastic dome on top. It stays in place so the process of finding a vein each time isn't necessary and it takes a lot of stress off the situation of starting IVs. You can use it for blood draws too, so again one less poke. An L shaped needle is inserted into the port and remains in place. The needle does need to be changed every week or two. With a port, you don't have to worry about vein irritation or if it will blow. You do need to be careful though because it is possible to pull the needle out of the port if your klutzy like me. A lot of people have them placed in their chest, but I have mine on the inside of my upper arm. They do need replaced after a couple of years, but that really depends on how long your port lasts or personal preference. They recommend changing the line every 5 years, however I didn't do that and left mine in and it lasted 13 years. The only thing is that kinda can get annoying is to make sure your port remains clear and working is that it needs to be flushed every month when not in used regularly. However, if you're in the hospital a lot, it doesn't really matter. Overtime, a lot of us with ports can access it and flush it on our own. I think it's safe to say getting a port is the best decision you could ever make.

  3. #3
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    Ive had a port for along time and love it! My only question, is it worth me having one if I'm not in the hospital alot? *knock on wood* ive been oit for almost 9 months and just seems like its a bothersome to have it and get it flushed monthly when that is all its being used for. Some insite would help me with this, tia

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstein View Post
    I am sick every month and I use a pic line What are the advantages of using a port over a pic line And what is a port and where and how is it inserted?

    I would definitely get a port. They are so convenient. I was getting about 2 PICCS/year and it was getting harder for them to place them. Plus if you go into the hospital you can start antibiotics right away and don't have to wait for the IV team.

    As far as it being placed on the inside of your upper arm, I'm not aware of that. Mine is below my right collar bone about 3 inches down. THe needles are good for a max of 9 days and when not in use it does have to be flushed every 4 weeks.

    I've had mine for almost 5 years and have not had any problems. From what I hear most patients with CF have ports now. Make sure it is not plastic and it is titanium, there are less issue with the titanium ones.

    Also, if you get one and your slim/tiny some of the port access needles can be large 1 inch/20 gauge but if those bother you they do have 3/4 inch/22 gauge, as well. I'm very small and my port is very noticeable so I use the smaller needle, otherwise it sticks out to far from the port/my skin.
    My name is Katie, I'm married with one son. I was diagnosed at 2 months old del f508 & 711+1G->T.

  5. #5
    port has advantages yes. but what they dont explain to you is the pains after. just basic nerve pain constantly. youll need to request a .5inch needle if you have a small physique and most dont have those. where the line will lay you cannot have anything hit it or it will sting. after about 3 months the scarring will being holding it in place better so little bumps wont be a problem. beyond that the port itself feels like another nipple. also careful with your neck. i still cant swallow with my head up anymore even for pills. pulls the catheter and hurts immensely.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie615 View Post
    As far as it being placed on the inside of your upper arm, I'm not aware of that. Mine is below my right collar bone about 3 inches down. THe needles are good for a max of 9 days and when not in use it does have to be flushed every 4 weeks.
    Having my first port I was asked where I wanted it. Since I have a fear of being stabbed in the chest, I opted for the arm. They do them in arms, legs, chest, sides. You just have to know to ask. Most people aren't given the option but if you bring it up they will. It's a perfect location in my opinion and a lot easier to hide when doing IVs.

  7. #7
    some hospitals and interventional radiologists outright refuse to do arm or leg ports. there are none in kansas city that will honor such a request. i know, i asked for myself. their response is there is higher risk of complication. i have not found research supporting this but if they refuse you cant force them.

  8. #8
    My daughter had her first port placed when she was a pre-teen. Her surgeon at our peds hospital placed it on her side. It is so nice since she can wear most anything and the port is not visible. She had her port replaced a few years ago and had it placed on her other side. The only disadvantage is that it would be awkward for her to access it herself. But that is my job for now

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
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    In today's world everybody seems to have tattoos. When I was young, getting something as noticeable as a tattoo, nose rings, gauges and such labeled people, for good and bad. In the military, a tat usually was the mark of a non-commissioned officer. Officer candidates weren't accepted into OCS if one could be seen wearing a T shirt and shorts. A PICC line is a little like a Henna tattoo, evidence of having it goes away once it is removed.

    PICC lines and ports don't have the identifying stigma just as tattoos have, for the most part, but a port is going to be there forever, in all practicality. I find a PICC something that shouldn't be overly used. In a rare instance of our beautiful anatomy working against us, nerves, Lymph ducts, arteries and veins run close together like multi-wire cables. This is perfectly efficient until medicines get ported through a vein. With a PICC line, extra fluids are essential to keep the concentrated antibiotic or whatever from burning that vein path. Even so, eventually most people begin to notice peripheral neuropathy, because of mechanical trauma of the foreign material of the actual line plus the liquid leaches out and attacks the nerves surrounding the fluid path. A PICC and Port both dump into a big vessel (which is the idea) like a garden hose running into a river so dilution is immediate.

    If you see that PICC lines are going to be run in more than just a couple times, or they are staying in for the maximum allowed time, I suggest you talk seriously with your doctor about getting a port. You have plenty of happy troupers who have related their experiences to guide you. I can only speak to why a PICC isn't a great long term solution. CF is becoming treatable but to date no drug cures CF. People often ask me what CF does, or is and what about it shortens our lives. We are walking feed stock for infections.

    In a recent paper on biofilms, the researchers chose CF as the perfect home for mucoid transformed microbes. Their study showed that most infections requiring antibiotics instead of the body's immune system to eradicate have transformed from independent bacteria to the hive living in a mucous of their own making. Mucoid infections are hard to treat and most often impossible to treat. Getting the right antibiotic or combination of antibiotics to kill our infection load often requires mainline delivery. I don't see this changing in my lifetime. See what your doctor thinks.

    Good luck on your decision, make absolutely certain this is what YOU want,
    LL
    67yr. old man, DX CF 2002 by sweat test. Heterozygous S1235R revealed by genetic testing in 2003 & 2012 accepted secondary mutation. 7T, 7T polymorphism established to be virulent. Classification review in 2017 remains CF diagnosis.

    Complete pancreatic atrophy, Bronchiectasis, MRSA, osteoporosis, small duct disease, charming personality.

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