4 Ways to Prepare for a PICC Line Placement

Going into a medical procedure is always a little scary. The best way to minimize fear and anxiety is to go in as prepared as you can! If you are feeling nervous about an upcoming PICC line placement procedure, here are some confidence-boosting tips for feeling ready to go:

1. Know what to expect

The unknown is a scary place. The more you can picture what the procedure will look and feel like, the less daunting it will seem. Talk to patients who’ve been there before and listen to their experiences.  Don’t know anyone who’s had a PICC line? No worries! There are plenty of support groups available (our Friends in the Fight Facebook group has plenty of PICC veterans who are always happy to share their stories and support fellow patients!) and blogs you can read. You can also ask your doctor and other providers to talk you through it in detail until you feel more comfortable.  

For now, know that the procedure itself shouldn’t hurt (they numb your arm with an ultra-thin needle, just like at the dentist), and the catheter itself is tiny — about the width and flexibility of fresh spaghetti!

Read more about what happens during the PICC line placement procedure here!

2. Make the most of your prep appointment

Let’s face it, while we may go into doctor visits with the best of intentions, most of the time we leave and realize we never asked that question and don’t remember half of what the doctor said. This is normal!  Visits can feel stressful or rushed and our brains tend to not do their best under pressure — unless we prepare ahead of time! 

You will likely have an appointment scheduled ahead of your placement procedure to go over PICC-related information with your providers. Before you go in, there are steps you can take to make sure you get the information you need:

  • Write down a list of questions ahead of time, when you feel relaxed and relatively clear-headed.  Bring this list with you!
  • Bring a pad and pencil to write down important information (and the answers to your questions) and don’t be afraid to ask for informational handouts or a print-out of the visit notes. If you are someone who benefits from visuals, ask to see some! Doctors often have pictures or 3D models of the procedure available.
  • Get there early — you are more likely to have a clear head and less likely to feel rushed if you arrive early and have time to settle in.
  • Consider bringing an advocate — someone to ask probing questions, take notes, and have your back if needed — to the appointment. If that’s not an option, try to schedule a phone call with a trusted support person after the appointment, so that you can debrief and talk through what you learned.  This may help it stick in your mind and will give you a chance to process any emotions that get stirred up.

More on making the most of doctor visits here!

A Friend in the Fight™ showing off their PICCPerfect PICC line cover!

3. Know what to bring to your PICC placement

Your doctor should share these details in your prep appointment, but you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when getting ready for your PICC placement procedure. First, wear comfortable clothes, especially a top that is loose and can be easily removed with one hand. You will feel awkward and swollen after the procedure. Rest easier knowing you can get into PJs without complication.  

Secondly, have PICC line covers ready to go — a comfortable protective sleeve (like the PICCPerfect PICC Line Cover here) not only keeps your tender skin feeling more comfortable, it also keeps everything covered up and securely in place; this will help reduce complications like infection, dislodgement, and unplanned dressing changes. The hospital will typically provide something to temporarily cover your PICC line, but bringing a PICC line cover allows you to ask the nurse questions about how to use it. You may also want to ask your doctor ahead of time if they prescribe PICCPerfect Pro sleeves — if so, you can get them covered by insurance!

Finally, bring with you the confidence to speak up during the procedure! The radiologist (or whoever places your catheter) will check in periodically, and they want to know how you’re feeling — honestly.  For example, numbing the arm can take longer for some patients than others. If they ask you if your arm is numb, be honest! The procedure should be painless, but only you can know how it feels. If you start to feel pain, discomfort, or anxiety at any time, don’t hesitate to tell your team. They can make it feel better, but only if they know something’s wrong.

Click here for Your First PICC Line: What to expect?

4. Be ready for the first week post PICC placement

The initial procedure may feel daunting, but it really only takes about 20 minutes to insert a catheter.  You’ll want to make sure that you have enough support in place once you get home. Your arm will be numb at first, and then sore and swollen for a few days. You may need to spend time icing the area and won’t be able to use your arm fully right away. You will also need to meet with your home care nurse for dressing changes and to learn how to take care of your PICC line. Add to all of this the emotions that can come from receiving new medical devices and treatments… all in all, it’s going to be a weird week.  Well in advance, reach out for support. If you can, take time off from work, school, or other regular activities. Find extra help with childcare or pets. Ask someone if they can come over to help with meal prep or just talk when you feel emotionally vulnerable. Learn about how to manage pain if it does pop up. As much of this that you can get lined up in advance, the less stressful your first week will feel.  

After that, when your swelling and soreness are gone, you feel more comfortable with your PICC line, and you’ve processed some emotions, you can ease back into your usual routine. But the more support you set up for the first week, the quicker you will return to normal life. And yes, you can still live a normal life with a PICC! This is just a step your body needs to get the right treatment and find healing. ♡

Got more questions about PICCs or Ports?  Check out our Educational Hub for more information.

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Launch of a New Product Line: Secondary Catheter Securement Device

Mighty Well creates comfortable as well as functional apparel and accessories for people living with medical devices, such as PICCs, midline catheters, infusion chest ports, and feeding tubes.  Mighty Well uses innovative fabric and closure technologies so patients can protect their medical devices — thus reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes.  We are excited to share that Mighty Well is now an FDA-registered designer of medical wearable products!

Our latest product launch is the PICCPerfect® Pro – Secondary Catheter Securement Device (Patent Pending).  This product has been requested by doctors and nurses from top US hospitals, including Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Mass General Hospital, to address two common issues:

  • unscheduled dressing changes – dressings become damaged, requiring nurses to replace PICC dressings ahead of schedule and increasing costs for the hospital
  • dislodgement – catheters become dislodged due to patient activity which can be dangerous to the patient and require additional care at the hospital

These issues are costly, decrease patient satisfaction, and can impact patient health and safety.

More on the importance of auditing catheter dislodgement here.

The PICCPerfect® Pro was designed to bring your patients comfort and dignity, and may help prevent dressing issues and catheter migration through its many great features:

  • patented fabric — antimicrobial, anti-odor, moisture-wicking, and incredibly soft
  • double-layer design — protects dressing changes and keeps PICC from touching patients’ sensitive skin
  • variety of sizes and colors — for comfort, style, and confidence
  • three access sites — for single, double or triple lumens to increase versatility 
  • adjustable velcro strap — for added security

Interested in how this product could improve care for your patients?  Reach out to Mighty Well at wholesale@mightywell.com to inquire about getting PICCPerfect® Pro in your hospital. 

Check out the PICCPerfect® Pro on our website for more features and information!

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Mighty Well Staff Picks

As a patient-owned company, we at Mighty Well create products that we believe in! Curious what our favorites are?  We asked each member of our team what their go-to product was and why.  Check out their picks below:

Want to get to know us better?  Click here to learn more about our passionate team.


creative director

I have literally every color of the Mighty Well Mask and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear another type now that I’ve tried it. Not only are they soft and breathable, I genuinely think they’re so stylish! I have them all hanging on a hook near my door and love seeing what color looks best with my outfit before I head out for the day. My door hook is basically a modern-day Clueless outfit selector… but with masks. 


operations director

We are UNDEFEATED as a family!  This is our mantra and we love it when people ask us about our tees and caps. My husband, Khaled, was ashamed of his hydrocephalus scars until we found the Friends in the Fight community! Now, he shows them off proudly, or wears his Undefeated cap as a reminder of what we’ve overcome as a family.


communications & influencer relations

Oh gosh- this is a toss up for me! As someone living with a PICC line, I love the PICCPerfect PICC line cover because it makes me feel safe and secure to continue living my life despite a tube being attached to my arm! 

I also absolutely adore the Mighty Well Mask.  I do not leave my house much, but have to leave the house at least once a week for IVIG infusions. I feel confident and safe in my Mighty Well Mask due to the antimicrobial fabric. I also bought a Mighty Well Mask for every nurse at my infusion suite- and they love them too!


co-founder & chief brand officer

My favorite Mighty Well products are the ones that get me through treatments!  The Cocoon Cardigan is so cozy and makes it easy to discreetly access my infusion sites, whether a PICC or port, with privacy, comfort, and style.  The PICCPerfect PICC Line Cover has kept me safe through years of treatments, helping me avoid complications like dislodgement, infection, and painfully chafed skin.  I will always have a soft spot for the PICCPerfect, our very first product, since it helped me regain confidence in my early years of illness, and brought me, Maria, and Yousef together to create this incredible community!


content & community manager

The Self Care Case, although not the product I use most often, is probably my favorite. I use it when traveling or even just going out for the day.  I used to get so frustrated trying to pack all of my illness gear into a purse or backpack.  Or — heaven forbid — trying to organize it for both TSA and the days of adventure that follow!  I could never find things when I needed them.  With the Self Care Case, I can keep all my meds organized, even my pesky liquid vials that take up space and have to be kept out of direct light!  I can store snacks, EpiPens, doctors’ notes, sun screen, topical treatments, a mini spray bottle for when it gets hot… honestly, sometimes I feel like Mary Poppins, with the number of things I can store in there!

What’s your favorite Mighty Well product? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or join the conversation in our Friends in the Fight facebook group!

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