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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Powerline in the Chest

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Author Topic: Powerline in the Chest
terv
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Anyone have a Powerline in the chest? Nurse told me that it was similar to a picc but I wouldn't have the physical restrictions that I would if I had PICC in my arm.

Can I go swimming with it?

My biggest worry is that I am a stomach sleeper and have insomnia and this will make the whole sleep situation worse.

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Razzle
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Yes, there are some differences. This is a Central Line and not a peripheral line, meaning the line goes for only a very short distance through the chest to the heart.

If a Central Line gets infected, you have Sepsis and possible heart damage, and need surgery to remove the line.

If a PICC gets infected, it takes a few minutes to remove in the doctor's office. This is the biggest reason PICC lines are preferred.

The other biggest difference is the initial insertion of the line is a surgical procedure as opposed to just an outpatient procedure.

Don't know that I'd want to go swimming with a Central Line...not sure how one would be able to put a sealed water-proof covering over it...

You may need to use a pillow under your chest to protect the site when sleeping, at least initially while waiting for the insertion site to heal.

--------------------
-Razzle
Lyme IgM IGeneX Pos. 18+++, 23-25+, 30++, 31+, 34++, 39 IND, 83-93 IND; IgG IGeneX Neg. 30+, 39 IND; Mayo/CDC Pos. IgM 23+, 39+; IgG Mayo/CDC Neg. band 41+; Bart. (clinical dx; Fry Labs neg. for all coinfections), sx >30 yrs.

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faithful777
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I have to disagree with the statement that most doctor's prefer picc lines. They get infected much easier, inhibit movement and if you have it replaced twice, you have paid for a port. I have a Bard Slim powerport.

Ports are under the skin and only accessed for a few days a week. They rarely have any problems and they do not inhibit any movement.

Considering that IV is a marathon and not a sprint, the line is going to be in for a long time. My port has been in a year already.

I can shower, swim, use my sauna on days the needle is out. I only infuse 5 days a week.

Once I can start weight lifting, as Burrascano guidelines suggest, there will be nothing stopping me from doing any movement I want.

You don't need a pillow under it when sleeping. You are slightly sore after insertion but it is not a big deal at all. I use press an seal when accessed to shower and use a hand held shower head.

I did a lot of research before I got the port and would do it again. Now my husband has one for IV. It is so much easier not to worry about something in my arm

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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terv
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How do you access the port? Does the skin grow over it and you have to puncture it? Or is there a tube coming out?

Does anyone have any websites explaining the these options?

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faithful777
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You can google access power port and probably find something that shows how to access.

Yes the skin has to have a huber needle put into the port once a week. I use ice on the port site for 20 minutes and it is only a pinch to put the needle in.

Attached to the needle is a clave that is luer lock so that you can screw in a line to your meds. I use big syringes that have my abx in them so I infuse with a pump. I put an extension line on my needle
(I call it my leash) so that I can enough length to put the pump down.

Normally you would have a nurse access the port weekly but I had to learn how to do it myself for vacation and then just did it myself every week.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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LymeMom Kellye
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My daughter has a Bard central line. Her IV doc suggested it for all the same reasons faithful said. She's had it in 7 months and no problems.

It's like a PICC in that there is always a tube hanging out.

She can't swim.

She tucks the tube in at night to a sports bra and can sleep on her chest.

Showering is a bit stressful for her but over time has gotten much easier.

Yes she will have to have surgery to have it removed but really it won't be a big deal.

She is so glad that she did the power line in her chest instead of her arm.

Best wishes!

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Sammi
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If you do get a port, make sure the nurse who accesses it knows what he/she is doing. When they don't, the sticks can be painful. When I had a port, it took a few months to find a nurse who cold access it on the first try.

You can put a numbing cream on the site before the needle is inserted, but this numbs only the skin. You can still feel the needle going in.

Once it is inserted, you should have no problems sleeping. There are covers you can wear over it when it is accessed so you can safely take a shower.

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faithful777
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The numbing cream didn't help me but ice did. Remember that there are all kinds of central lines. Some have tubing hanging out all the time, mine does not.

The only time tubing is hanging out is when the Huber needle is in.

Sammi is right though, some nurses are not great and some others are great. I just learned to do it myself and no issues anymore.

--------------------
Faithful

Just sharing my experience, I am not a doctor.

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terv
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Lymemom,
Why is showering stressful? Can't you cover it up with something so it doesn't get wet?

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LymeMom Kellye
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It's stressful because its quite a production getting it covered so it doesn't get wet. By the time we get it ready she's exhausted and doesn't have the energy to shower. It took trial and error but we found that using zip lock bags works great.
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Haley
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I've had a power port since 10/2009. I have never had any problems. I plan to keep it until I am well.

I do think it is better to have it removed if you are well. Having a foreign object in the body is not ideal, but I'm glad I have options.

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sammy
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This website shows all 3 types of central lines:
http://www.veins4life.com/what-to-know.php?ref=patients

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behealthyagain
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I have a power port in the chest - experience exactly like Lyme Mom describes. I use press & seal and surgical tape, then a beauty-shop bib to shower. Wash hair in sink.
Glad I went this route.

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rosiegeorge
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Will leave a small scar once removed where the sutures were to keep it in place.
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