Nat196 asked, 'What about all those "HUGE NEEDLE" complaints with Minimed?

Hi all, new here. Im about to get my first pump and have 2 to choose from the Minimed Paradigm Veo and the Accu-Chek spirit. Because I know NOTHING about pumps can you tell me the pro's of this machine and if you belive it would suit a first time user. I have been on the minimed site and ALOT of people are saying how painful the the insertion is because the needle is HUGE ?? I have trouble just doing my shots cause I hate needles and I don't want something like this if this is the case.

Has anyone here used both machines and if so which do you prefer.


I think that you’re confusing “talk” about about CGMS Sensors with “talk” about infusion sets. Minimed’s CGMS Sensor is much wider, and more painful to insert, than the competitor’s product. That competitor is Dexcom, there are no other companies in the business right now. And Minimed has announced that they have an updated Sensor, which should be even more comfortable than Dexcom’s current wire.

But the Sensors are solid wires, while the infusion sets are tubes. (ahem, insert a joke about the Internet being “a set of tubes” here, if you like.) The current Minimed CGMS Sensor is quite painful, but it’s nearly painless to shoot in the Dexcom or the future MM Sensor.

Infusion sets are in the middle: Bigger (and more painful) than the Dexcom and future MM wires, but smaller (and less painful) than the current MM Sensor.

With that out of the way, let’s “zero in” on the infusion sets. There are several different types, and both companies (MM and Roche) have a wide variety of products, including nearly all of the types:

METAL INFUSION SETS: They are like insulin syringe needles, strong enough to push in by themselves (that’s good). But they’re stiff - so, if you don’t choose your location carefully, they may cause irritation when you move around. And your body will probably react more quickly to a metal infuser, so you will need to replace these more often.

NYLON “SOFT” INFUSION SETS: They’re skinny, flexible nylon tubes. Most people can leave them a day longer than metal infusers, because they cause less IR ( == “Immunological Response”, rejection). But they need to be injected, or pushed in, while they’re INSIDE of larger, sharply pointed metal tubes. (The metal tubes keep them straight while you push them in. Without the tubes, they flop around like a piece of string, you can’t push them into anything.) The bigger tubes make them more painful to insert.

They’re also more expensive, if you’re financially challenged by such costs.


Both materials are available in various lengths, and they are designed for use in two ways: “Straight down”, vertical into your SC tissue (== SubCutaneous tissue); or angled. The angled versions are built with longer lengths. They NEED the longer length to reach the proper depth; but by having a longer length, they have more surface area underneath your skin – and that helps to keep them from sliding against your SC tissue, causing irritation and (perhaps) unwanted variability in effective insulin doses.

MM pumps have always used a “Proprietary”, Minimed-only infusion set connector. So, you are either limited to THEIR product line, or you buy a 3rd-party adapter which allows you to use their pumps with “industry standard” Lauer Lock infusion set connectors.

The Spirit uses the industry-standard connector. So, if you prefer an Infusion Set made by another company (for example, the “Orbit Micro”, or something from Animas), it connects in perfectly, no adapter required.


Personally, I use Roche’s own “UltraFlex-2” in the shorter version (8mm). But try a bunch, it’s likely that your favorite will be different than mine.

Rick, great post, I just have one small correction. I have always used Minimed infusion sets with my Spirit. I like the Sof-Set Micro QR (MMT 320) which is a 66mm cannula set with the 42" tubing. These sets have the standard luer lock connection. I think it is some of their newer pumps/sets that have their own MM-only connectors. The MM 320s have the Quick release some distance from the needle, I like that, so if my husband helps me put it in (with the inserter device) somewhere far on my backside, I can still twist around and disconnect for showers easily.

Marie, thanks for the correction AND kudos! The Veo, being their very newest model, probably uses the proprietary connector. (I didn’t do a careful product review to verify whether it is or isn’t a Lauer-lock device.)