Insertion sites that don’t work

Are there sites just don’t work for you? Recently I tried other sites and I have had several attempts on my lower back at the love handle level. It’s not too far back, but just at a spot I’m stuck able to reach myself without a mirror. It just doesn’t respond. My sugar is running high most of the time when I do an insertion there. A inch closer towards the front from that site it’s okay.

Does it have to do with insulin absorption in that some sites need to be drenched with insulin to start working. I can’t work out why it doesn’t work and it’s frustrating that I have to battle the highs for half a day before I get it back down. Exhausting to say the least.


What pump do you use? I am on the Omnipod, and I have the best luck with my stomach. I had a pod on my lower back one time, and didn’t realize the canula didn’t go into my skin for some reason, and since I changed it before going to sleep I was in DKA by the time I woke up. So, I’m scared to use that site (probably irrationally so). My arms work, but hurt sometimes (I’m on the thin side). Every time I’ve tried my legs I knock the pod off or my numbers run high.

I’ve heard that tubed pumps have different set materials (steel, plastic) and angles (strait, angled), but it’s just what I’ve heard. I think that is the route I’ll go next to see if I can get more areas to work with the different set options.

I’m using the tslim with the Teflon canullas. I tried the steel ones and they don’t last as long and starts to hurt. I hardly get kinks on the Teflon ones

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My lower thighs don’t work worth a darn, for either infusion sites or for CGM! Upper thigh? Fine. Lower thigh? Might as well just put a piece of duck tape on my skin and pretend its a pump site so I can save the real infusion set for some body part that actually works.

Bodies sure are finicky sometimes!


Frankly, I think it’s all about the amount of fat where you insert your inset. Thin people have trouble finding a place that will pinch an inch of fat. As I get older and accumulate a bit of fat, I find that most places on my body are OK except for the legs. Just make sure you get the shorter cannulae. That helps.


That same sight does not work well for me. My blood sugars seem a little higher and respond slower. My legs work well- I have recently started moving my injection sight a good inch each time I change infusion sets. Think of it like a tic tac toe grid, and change legs after you’ve used maybe 9 different spots on one leg. I tend to use my belly for my cgm. I am a thin person- and that is what works for me.

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One thing I’ve notice with backside sites is that the awkward placement means my fingers sometimes get caught in the applicator when you release the mechanism. If you’re having that problem back there, you might be getting shallow placement, which would reduce the absorption.

Of course, I have the poor absorption problem with all new sites because I’m staunchly sticking to the short cannulas for now, so I can move up to the longer ones years down the road when/if scar tissue becomes more of a problem. I soak a new site with 2 full units of insulin using the “fill cannula” option, and FINALLY don’t get the new site spike. I’ve slowly crept that volume up from the 0.4 units extra my pump trainer originally told me to use.

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Haha thanks for suggesting I’m thin? Not really :sweat_smile:. While I’m not fat either I don’t have a shortage of fat around my body​:rofl:.

Had another blockage yesterday during my sleep :unamused:, so exhausting waking up almost every night this week, several times.

I’m using 6mm, is that short? I’m currently filling with 1 unit and it seems to be okay but on the problem ones, no amount of insulin will fix. And the thing is most blockages isn’t instantaneous on insert, happens like 12-18 hours into it and previous bolus would work too so don’t understand why all of a sudden it blocks up.

I hope one day someone comes up with some technology or device that can detect where not to insert because of scarring. Essentially at the moment a blind guess everytime.

Have you ever tried one of the angled cannula sets? I’ve used the Inset 30 for several years and currently use the MiniMed Silhouette set for over four years. Both of these angled cannula models have worked well for me.

The best way to discover whether the 6mm depth works for you is by experimenting with an 8mm model and see how it performs.

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I use 3 mm and I insert them manually. You get a much larger target area if you can put them in manually. You can reach around to your butt or back etc.
you can also see that they are in correctly.
I’ve learned that the skin above a vein hurts a lot more than one without so if I touch the needle to my skin, I can feel where veins are before p puncture.

I did try the 8 mm a long time ago and I find it the same as the 6mm, nothing special with it. Given this my DE said to go on the 6 mm as 12 mm was for people that have a lot of fat on the tummy (I think she said to the point of being obese).

I don’t think I tried the 3mm but given there is fat on my tummy where I inject I’m not sure 3mm can go deep enough. I’m not sure the tslim auto soft has a 3 mm version ?

I don’t recall seeing 12 mm as an option back when I was looking around for alternate infusion set cannula lengths in mid-2020. Is that option even (still) available? :thinking: :confused:

Actually I think this was on the Medtronic infusion sets. Not available on the tandem ones. It was a while ago so I can remember exactly.

An inch is not enough. Should move 3 inches. Over time, your skin will have tough, sunken areas due to overuse in the same area. I started at age 5, began giving my own shots at age 8. Soon I was moving my site just a little bit, like an inch. Over about 4-5 years, the skin became hardened and sunken. I had to stay away from those sites for about 20 years before the skin came back to normal.

cool. I hate pulling the cannula out after 3 days and blood gushes everywhere. Only happens maybe once every six months, but still a big mess

Thank you for that! I realized when I looked that I only use about 6 places on one leg before moving to the other- and 3 inches makes pretty good sense. I am on a Medtronic pump 670G and use Sure-T- so change infusion set once every 2 1/2-3 days.

When blood gushes out when removing an infusion set or glucose sensor, immediately and firmly press your fingertip on the source of the bleed until a minute or so elapses.

In the past I would be frantically looking for a tissue to help stop the blood flow and by the time I find one and get it in place, my clothes would often get blood-stained. I learned that quickly placing and pressing my fingertip avoids all the mess and stops the bleed.

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I use the 6 mm cannula with the auto-injector for T:Slim. The last time I changed out my infusion site, the insertion needle wouldn’t pull out because it had somehow bent in the application. Not sure what happened, but the cannula seems to have been properly inserted anyway.