Reply To: To Port…Or Not to Port?
If getting Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatments (and not PE) a port may be overkill. Consider a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) line instead.
I too have veins that are hard to find and I hated being poked and poked by nurses who didn’t seem to care they were causing me pain and discomfort. Ask for a Phlebotomist next time, they are trained to deal with patients that have hard to find veins and you are less likely to have as much discomfort.
I have had multiple central venous tunneled catheters (ports for PE) and 2-3 PICC lines for IVIg. Some of my port experiences are listed here:
Have you considered getting IVIg treatments at home using a PICC line?
Getting IVIg through home healthcare is usually covered by insurance and is a lower cost alternative to a hospital. Plus, you are at home and can relax more while they drive to you. You and your doctor would pick an agency. Make sure the agency is listed as a ‘contracted provider’ by your insurance and confirm they will take your insurance as payment in full (maybe your insurance requires a deductible and/or some cost sharing). Then your doctor would need to write prescriptions for the home treatments. A nurse comes to your home and stays while the IVIg is being administered. You get personal attention and care this way.
Another option to consider would be subcutaneously administered IVIg. SCIg is a newer option to the traditional IV’s. Subcutaneously administered IVIg does not require an IV or a port and some patients can give it to themselves, lowering costs substantially. Learn more about it here: