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Using post mastectomy arm for PICC??

Hello all.....


Difficult pt today, very thin and malnourished (and lots of loose arm skin).  Had a right mastectomy years ago (no lymph node removal or hx swelling).  I assessed both arms and chose to attempt left because of mastectomy hx, though both arms had equal veins.  Has anyone else used a mastectomy arm for a PICC?  Outcomes? 

Thanks in advance!



 I have placed a PICC in a

 I have placed a PICC in a post mastectomy arm many years ago. The patient was in a step down unit from critical care, on multiple continuous infusions and intermittent meds. She had a history of bilateral mastectomies with lymphedema in the left arm but the right had no problems. But she did have a triple lumen cath in the right subclavian vein that was suspected of being infected and the reason for the PICC order. So I place the PICC in the right arm, removed the triple lumen CVC, got the chest xray, switched all her infusions to the PICC after I saw the xray. She did great and was discharged 2 weeks later without any problems with the PICC arm. Please remember this is only one patient with a good outcome. She was many years post mastectomy although I don't remember how many. I had no choice but the right arm and the right CVC added another layer of problems. Each patient will be different. Placing the PICC in the arm opposite a mastectomy is always best as you did. Lynn

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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