Mighty Well | PICCPerfect PICC line cover | PICC line removal

5 Common Questions About PICC Line Removal

When getting a PICC placed, we often worry about what it will feel like and what life will be like once it is in. But what about PICC line removal? A PICC line stays in for as long as you need it for treatment, so once your treatment is over, your PICC line will be removed!

We’ve chatted with our Friends who have been there so that you can feel confident when it’s time for your PICC line removal:

Does it hurt? 

Not at all. You blink and it’s over, and you don’t even know it’s happening. They don’t even have to numb you. It feels just like a dressing change — they take everything off and slowly pull the line out. Then they apply pressure for a few minutes and put a bandaid on. It takes about ten minutes tops!

How does it feel afterward?

Your arm might be a little sore, and you may notice some shoulder tension from readjusting how you subconsciously carry yourself. There might also be a little bleeding afterward, for example, if you lift something heavy, but usually not. You have to wait 24 hours to shower or submerge your arm.  

Will it scar?

Yes — the scar looks different for everyone but can look like a small belly button on your arm.

A PICC line and the Mighty Well PICCPerfect PICC line cover

What are some reasons it might be removed? 

Most often, you will have your PICC line removed when you no longer need treatment. Some doctors also like to remove PICC lines after about a year to give your body a break, and perhaps go in the other arm. If you have complications, they may also end up removing the PICC line and putting in a new one.

Where do I have to go to get it done?

This is something that many nurses can do, even if your hospital doesn’t have vascular access as a specialty.

If you’re nervous, ask if you can bring someone back with you to talk to you and distract you — it’ll be over before you even notice!

Getting ready for your first PICC line?  Check out our Educational Hub which features videos and guides on PICC Placement, Caring For a PICC Line, Preventing PICC Line Complications and more!

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