Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

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JillCurtis
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Location: Castle Rock, CO

Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby JillCurtis » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:05 am

I have had both and would certainly say get that picc line out and go for a port. love the convience of the port - my picc line was only in for 3 weeks and boy oh boy it hurt
Jill, 45
02/07 - DX 07 -T 3 Colon, Surgery, 12 Folfox
02/08 – Surgery, 1 Xeloda, 7 Folfiri/Avastin
02/09 – 12 Folfiri/Avastin
10/09 – 2 New Tumors, 1 Erbitux/Irinotecan - Bad Reaction
12/09 - 4 Folfox / Avastin
03/10 - Chemo stopped working

worrieddaughter
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Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby worrieddaughter » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:14 am

Thanks everyone. Wow it's really sounding like the port is the way to go. It kinda makes me mad that it wasn't even given as an option in the beginning. They just put in a picc line. They always knew it was going to be for long term chemo, so I really don't understand why they wouldn't have done the port. We live in Canada and all of our health care is free, so it wouldn't have been an issue there. Now I'm kinda mad, my mom hates that picc line and had there been the other option I'm sure she would have done it. She is going to be taking a chemo break for an undetermined amount of time and getting the picc line out, maybe I'll ask about the port as an option when she decides to start chemo again.

hannahw
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Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby hannahw » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:04 pm

We live in Canada

Pretty sure this is why your Mom got the PICC without being offered the port. I seem to recall other people living in Canada say that the PICC is standard in Canada. If you want the port, you have to push for it. Not sure the rationale, probably cost - ports are more expensive.

To me, one of the biggest frustrations of healthcare is learning to navigate a complicated world during a time of great stress. No one is at their best when dealing with cancer and then you add on top of it the need to learn a lot of info quickly and it's a recipe for frustration. When my Dad was diagnosed I didn't know my head from my behind. I pretty much listened to what the docs said and followed along. Now we know not to assume anything. It's not because there is a big conspiracy against us or because we don't trust the docs, it's just that medicine is more complicated now than ever and even the very best in their profession can make mistakes. Not just clinical mistakes, but mistakes in judgment and mistakes that come from not knowing the patient well enough to include the patients needs in process of deciding what is the best course of treatment.

I think the best advise a new patient/caregiver can get is "don't be afraid to ask questions." It's natural to assume that if a PICC is offered, a PICC is what is available. But since you aren't a medical professional and you don't necessarily know all the possible alternatives, just ask "what are the alternatives?"

Still, for people who don't have a choice for whatever reason, a PICC is manageable. There's no reason to set people up for anger, frustration, disappointment. We all have preferences, and clearly the port is popular around here, but a PICC is not the end of the world if that is the way it has to be. It's all relative. A PICC is still a lot better than having to get access anew for each treatment.
Last edited by hannahw on Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Daughter of Dad with Stage IV CC

worrieddaughter
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Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby worrieddaughter » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:58 pm

I'm definetly going to look into ou options. Thanks guys :-)

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Bev G
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Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby Bev G » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:20 pm

Chances are the PICC was done because putting the port in (just hospital charges. NOT the interventional readiologist charges) is $12,000. The PICC line would be nothing close to that. I'm not saying that's a fault with the Canadian system, which I like. It is just probably one way that they save their health care dollars.
58 yo Type1 DM 48 years
12/09 Stage IV 2/22 nodes + liver met, colon resec
3 tx FOLFIRI, liver resec 4/10
9/10 6 mos off chemo, Neg PET&CTC CEA nl
2/11 finished total 10 rounds chemo

9/13 ^17th clean PET/CT NED for now

Florida Guest

Re: Port vs PICC which is better? Why one over the other?

Postby Florida Guest » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:32 pm

Hello,
I may be the only PIC line supporter in the world. I started with a port -- hurt like a son of a gun when the chemo line was inserted but seemed trouble free. After three months it got junked up with fibrin, and it was to be removed and replaced on the other side of my chest. This was supposed to be in-and-out surgery. The surgeon-- head of oncological surgery at a large hospital -- punctured my lung doing this. I was in the hospital for four days with pneumothorax, including a chest tube (that was inserted kinked). I got fed up (really fed up because my sat levels were fine, just xrays showing a bubble), insisted upon discharge, saw an interventional radiologist the next day who unkinked the tube and suctioned out the air. The PIC was a bother for bathing, I couldn't swim and had to protect it with a bandage and long sleeves, but it otherwise never gave me a minute of trouble.


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