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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Pulling Out a Hickman Portline

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Author Topic: Pulling Out a Hickman Portline
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 7949

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I have had a central line hickman in for over a year and my LLMD wants to pull it out because she thinks it's infected.

My doc who put it in seems to feel that he can pull this port out without being "put out"-he thinks I am young (23,) healthy, and I should be able to tolerate this simple proceedure fine-but I am FREAKING OUT.

I do not deal with with pain, I don't mind look at other people cutting things open, blood, etc but I can't really handle it on myself!

Has anyone had this proceedure done? Can you share your experience and if you feel me getting knocked out is a better choice?
What the recovery time on it would be?


Posts: 484 | From Burlingame, Ca | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Melanie Reber
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Hey Lindsay,

I had a Hickman for 15 months. (Not a port, but a line) I don't want to frighten you further...but my removal was very difficult.

The surgeon thought it would only take a few minutes...but when he got in there, the cuff was attached pretty good to the skin that grew around and into it.

Several rounds of local had to be injected in order to keep the pain down while the line and cuff were cut away. This 'quick and painless process' lasted over an hour.

I was very 'uncomfortable' during the procedure, and for several weeks afterward.

Now, I am sure that each patient will have an individual experience...but for was not pleasant at all.

Please ask for a local (or several) at the least.

My best,

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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Icon 1 posted      Profile for stymielymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
most picc or ports lines grow scar tissue around the plastic to protect the body from infection.
sometimes this tissue growth is pretty tenacious.
light sedation may be in order verset works great.
this may come out easy of HURT LIKE HELL
i had a uretral cath in for a week after
kidney stones.
the doc said it wouldn't hurt.
well that was the most painful thing in my life
besides getting married.
the tissue had encased the catheter and tissue and cath came out, and i went out.


Posts: 1820 | From Boone and Southport, NC | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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my son had his pot-a-cath removed with a local anesthisia as an office visit. He had it in place for abt 9 months.

He had not problems with the removal. A few days of pain and a bit of swelling, but we used ice pack right away. Seven days later he requested that I remove his stitches (which I did), because he didn't feel like making another visit to the dr's office.

He has continued to do well!

Ultimately, the decision is yours. Did you have a general anesthisia when the thing went in? How did you do with recovery from anethesia?

2 years ago I had to have my first port removed because I developed a fibrin sheath over it.

The interventional radiologist who did the switch gave me a mild relaxing drug that kept me conscious but relaxed, then he used local at the site.

I recovered form this procedure much easier than the first time with a general.

Whatever you decide, I wish you well!

Posts: 663 | From NH USA | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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i had my port in for 13 months, i had the local anethetic, in the doctors office, and also had some scar tissue however it was easily removed, and 2 dissolvable stitches....i was able to shower in 48 was problems here....Good Luck
Posts: 83 | From Northern Illinois | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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