Helping Out Bad Infusion Sites for Pump Users

Hi all -

So I’m one month into my pump, and I think I’ve discovered that my only really reliable site for infusion sets is on my stomach. I’ve tried rotating to right above my butt and the outside of my hip, but they had awful absorption rates. Lots of 200’s, not good at all.

So here are my questions - Is it going to be really bad if I can only use my stomach for the rest of my life? Is there anyway to encourage the insulin absorption of the other areas? What to do you guys do?


I don’t know if this would make a diff with you, but I use different infusion sets for my stomach than I do with my hips. Maybe that would help.

Pumping for almost 5 years and I only use my tummy as well, so I cannot help you with this one. I am in the try not to think about it mode.

Have you tried your arms?

personally, I use my butt because
a) frankly I have plenty of fat there
b) it allows me to be discreet. I can loop the infusion tube from the site to my insulin pump entirely inside my pants, so theres less risk of snagging on something. Also, in the summer, it makes a difference if you can walk arond the beach topless without worrying about your infusion site showing.

I rotate sites between my stomach and my butt to give some time to heal and minimize scar tissue. Ive noticed that infusion sets closer to the side of my leg do not seem to work as well or last as long as those in the middle of my butt or up towards my waist. Experiment, and just make sure you have enough fat on a site as well. GOOD LUCK!

Maybe you can walk around topless! My infusion site showing would be the least of my worries:)

I only ever use my stomach at the moment, as that is where there is the best absorption. I have used other areas but they don’t seem to work well at all. It shouldn’t be a problem having it there for a while, as you can use a huge amount of your stomach…effectively there is like a 6cmx6cm space on each side of your belly button so it ought to last a while.

Hope it works out for you. If all fails and you do find it having bad absorption then your body will hopefully be at a stage that allows you to put it somewhere else. I notice that my body changes its shape, and has like ‘padding’ where my infusion sets go…which is great in most respects.

my son doesn’t like to use his tummy. we use the front of his thighs with great sucess.

I sometimes use my butt or hip, but the stomach works best for me. I don’t worry about running out of infusion sites even though I’m pretty thin. I have basically marked out a five point area on both sides of my stomach (imagine the five dots on a set of dice) and rotate from side to side to a different ‘dot’ each time. That’s 10 sites and plenty of time between each infusion for the other nine to heal, so I’m not worried about running out or developing scars or the like.



How often to you change your site? Just curious.

I am such a bad diabetic, I don’t log, I count carbs, but mostly I am guessing carb counts for a lot of my meals. I usually override my bolus wizard.

As far as sites go, I move it back and forth from side to side, but man I don’t keep track like you do, I just insert and go and hope for the best and try not to worry about scarring.

Am I wrong, ahhhh, just too much to think about for such an unpredictable disease.

Just a little vent from me. :wink:

I like to use my outer thighs. I get better absorbtion there than my tummy. It’s easier to avoid ripping out the infusion set if its on the outer thighs as well. Or maybe that’s just me and how I put on my pants.
I’ve tried above my belly button more toward my rip cage too, but it was uncomfortable.

I got my insulin pump in october. I’ve tried my hips & upper-butt area… I’ve enjoyed my stomach the best aswell because I like to clip my pump to the middle of my bra. That way it’s totally out of the way! People look at me funny sometimes when I reach down into my shirt & pull my pump out, but theyget over it. LOL. I’ve been reading about lots of people that use their thighs… I’m kinda scared to try… we’ll see. Maybe I’ll do it today!!!

I’ve been pumping for over 10 years. I have ONLY used my abdomen with no problem.


I change my site whenever I have to refill my reservoir. And I’m not as methodical about it as I might have made it seem. I just switch sides each time, but each time I switch I stay at least two inches away from the site I used the last time.


This is an older topic but I’m quite curious as well. I started with the Omnipod about a month ago and I find that my lower back area doesn’t seem to work for me. A nurse at Joslin said that some people have what she described as “knotty tissue” in certain sites and those sites will not work. When I talked to Omnipod about the problem they didn’t think that would be the case and that all sites should be fine. Sounds like other people are having similar issues though!

So far the stomach and legs are working for me. I haven’t tried my arms yet.

I find my mid section, upper thigh, top and sides and back hip convenient; you just have to work around the wire carefully when you are dressing, and it can be tricky with nylons and girly gadgets. I have to move sites so there won’t be the build up of scar tissue, which can result in occlusions. Try new things!!!kwlawson

Terry & Karen,

Like you guys, I really on my stomach virtually all of the time. I’ve tried using my legs, but I always manage to pull out the infusion site. Without fail. I use the Cleo 90’s with my CozMore system, and I’ve heard those can have trouble staying put with lots of activity/sweat/etc.

I rotate sites with every reservoir refill, or about every 3-4 days. I have nice rings leftover from my infusion site, so they show me the spots I’ve used recently. I use 6-8 sites on one side of my belly, then switch to the opposite side of the belly any use another 6-8 sites. I mainly do this so I can remember which pant pocket has the pump and which has the car keys.

Cheers, Mike

I stick to my stomach, hips and butt. I have tried my thighs but I can’t use them. I do not have enough fat there and I bruise everytime, no matter what infusion set I use. If I use my stomach I use Sils and with my hips and butt I use quick sets. I have also tried the sure t’s and polyfins in my thighs and they are to long as well. I do not feel comfortable using my arms.

I’ve been using my stomach for about 10 years. There’s a bit of scarring but nothing that would really make anyone look twice and nothing that interferes with absorption. The only tip I can offer that I haven’t seen mentioned is to get a good skin cream to make the sites heal a little faster. I use some tea trea oil cream by Nature’s Gate, but I’m sure there’s lots of good ones out there. A large bottle will last me years since I just dab a little on. Don’t put an infusion set on top of recently applied skin cream, though… it’s liable to slip off.

I’ve been pumping for 14 yrs. and I would suggest that you keep changing sites every 3 days. For me and YMMV, the old site heals better and you can minimize absorption problems. I’ve only used my stomach and around my belly, as far as I can reach. I am quite insulin resistant (T2). I try to not bolus too much or too often. I use MM with bolus wizzard to stretch out the total bolus needed. It works for me so I don’t wear out one site before the 3rd day.
Hope this helps,