As described in my blog, I had to have my line removed because I have blood clots. This is slightly more detail about how the line was removed.
I lay down and relevant bits of my chest were swabbed with iodine. Apparently pulling out the line is easier if it hasn’t been in for too long. The cuff which anchors it is part of the problem as it can embed firmly. I was offered a local anaesthetic, but in the end, as the injection can be painful, we did it without, but with the option to stop if necessary and have it! I guess that if you’ve had it in for ages, you might need a local anaesthetic so they can cut it out if necessary. The stitch at the exit point was cut (the little bit of cottony line). Then basically Angela pressed down hard on my upper chest area (I think on a part of the vein but I’m not sure of the technical side) and pulled! It didn’t hurt at all to start with, then I had a couple of ‘ouch’ moments and then it was out. She and Heidi then pressed down hard for a minute or so on the vein (presumably where it comes out) and the exit hole. Apparently the vein reseals very quickly. Then a dressing was put over the hole (which is very small in fact). Angela said the cuff and end looked a little gungy and sent them off for checking. Heidi cleaned me up a bit and then I had to lie flat for 15 to 20 mins. You have to keep the dressing on a couple of days – as always mine started to itch within hours and I’ve replaced it today with a smaller one – it looked pretty healed up already. I feel a bit sore and tender around the general area but otherwise OK.
There are other ways of getting lines out – I guess if the line is firmly embedded it may be more complicated, but it certainly wasn’t anything to worry about.