FUDiabetes

Recovery Time for Lipohypertrophy From Pump Infusion Sets


#1

I’ve been on a Medtronic Minimed pump since 2006.

I do rarely get a little spurt of blood when I change one, but had a worse case the day after Christmas. I had very high glucose all day (and I was eating reasonable), and noticed the skin was red around the infusion set.

Thinking it was faulty, I removed it, and got a big spurt of blood. IN maybe a day I noticed there was a hard lump below the skin, and I thought maybe it was infected, After a few days of poking with an insulin needle to try and puncture, and seeing it was not going down, I went to a walk in clinic. They wanted to drain it, but when it was opened with a scalpel the doctor was surprised there was no spurt of gunk. His best idea it was scar tissue from insulin, which got me reading more about Lipohypertrophy (I’ve only had the opposite one as a kid, when my skin dimpled in).

Everything I read says the the obvious, don’t use that area. But I’m just wondering from anyone else who has dealt with this, how long it took for the lump to go away. There’s no pain, it just feels odd to have a hard bump under the skin.

Thanks for any experience/wisdom.


#2

My younger sister had big hard bumps on the back of both arms when she was a kid. She was so thin and my parents had a hard time finding insertion spots with enough fat. Eventually she was switched to multiple daily injections, and the spots eventually went away. I’m afraid I can’t give an exact time frame (that time all blurs together), but they did go away!

It may take a few years though… rotating your sites as often as possible can help prevent these from popping up in other spots. You probably already know that though.


#3

It seems to vary, almost from person to person. When I was a kid I injected in the same few spots over and over, because they were convenient and I was invincible. From the age of 10 and into my teens, those areas first became hard and then the tissue disappeared (lipoatrophy), and I still have some hollows nearly 50 years later. (The plus side was it highlighted the muscles in my thighs, so I looked super-athletic when I really wasn’t.) In the late 1990s I used a MiniMed pump for 6 years and exclusively used my abdomen for sites. Long-term tissue problems did not start to show up until after I stopped using the pump. The areas I had used most often – a few square inches – gradually became hard and slightly raised. Fifteen years later, they are still there, though softer.

Alhough Dexcom advises to avoid putting sensors in damaged tissue, I find I get the longest life from my sensors in those bumps, perhaps because the tissue is more stable.


#4

We had a lump from an infected site take a round of antibiotics and about 6 months to clear up and disappear.


#5

Same as @Chris: infected site recovered in about 6 months.

But, for lipohypertrophy, our T1D nurse tells us some of her sites take years to recover, some take many months, while others just don’t.


#6

I have had lipohypertrophy in a nice symmetric pattern on both sides of my abdomen from pump infusion sets since 2014 - to date, they have not gone away. One endo says “if it doesn’t hurt, you can use it” but the endo department at Mayo clinic said to avoid it at all costs.

Just another reason I gave up on pumps.