Who's been pumping the longest? Got scar tissue?

I think I got my first pump in 1991. That makes about 17 years. Everything was great until last year, when the “scar tissue issue” began to rear its extremely ugly head. I don’t seem to have any good spots left for infusion sets!

Scar tissue is not on the surface of your skin, it is beneath the surface layer of skin. You do not see it but if it is there and you inject into it then you will experience slow or incomplete absorption. I used ordinary injections for 62 years and almost always used my abdomen, usually my upper abdomen. I had tough spots but thought the needle might be dull. No doctor or anything I read said anything about scar tissue. I started pumping in June, 2007 and started having no delivery alarms in December. I was still using my upper abdomen. My endo did not know what the problem was. I called the Minimed hot line and after talking with a young sounding lady for almost 20 minutes she suggested I had scar tissue and told me to use other body parts and give my abdomen a long rest. I started using my upper legs in front and on the outsides. My absorption was great and I had good control again. Now, finally, I know to rotate my sites frequently to avoid having scar tissue again. I have been using my lower abdomen recently and have given my upper abdomen a six month rest. I hope the scar tissue there is gone now.

Some people use their buttocks successfully. Love handles and buttocks are difficult for me. I have arthritis and I cannot seem to inject my Sure-T sets perpendicular to the skin surface. It always seems to go in at an angle which does not work with Sure-T’s, at least not for me.

I’ve been pumping about 12 years now, and have had no problems with scar tissue. I originally had a pattern going between my abdomen and my hips, but now that I also wear a cgm, I use my hips for the pump (Thelma) and the ab for the cgm (Louise). The buttocks are a bit too low for my liking, as it’s uncomfortable to sit on.

I use my upper arms, and outer legs. I can use my upper boo-tocks as I don’t sit on that.

I am using a CGMS on loan, and am using my midriff area for that. I know I am on a bit of a roller coaster with the readings I get, they look like H-E- double-hockey-sticks. I’m wondering about scarring, as it seems no matter WHAT set I use with the Paradigm 722, I get cruddy readings.

Yeah, I’m doing the legs and contorting myself to get around the rear areas, but I really hate putting it where I roll on it in the night,etc. I’m going to a CDE tomorrow, and I can’t wait. My endo says I have to change every other day. Quite frankly, it sucks

I’ve been on the pump since 1994 when I was 10, and it wasn’t until 2002 that the doctors realized that the “funny lumps” in my stomach were actually scar tissue. For 8 years, I had moved my sites between the exact two same spots on either side of my belly button and only changed them once every 4 or 5 days. The scar tissue has not gone away at all (that I’ve noticed), even after not using my abdomen at all for sites for the past 6 years. I now use my thighs, hips, upper rear end, and love handles and change my sites every 2 days to avoid any scarring whatsoever!

Hello Marie:

I have scar tissue as well; arms, legs, abs, even my rear end. After nearly 40 years, (MDI) don’t care how often you rotate, it WILL happen… only so much surface area we can use easily…

What are lovers, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, wives might be willing to do for us that’s another couple inches if we’re lucky :wink: Regardless your endo does not shoot every day themselves do they…?

Sure rotate but I don’t know that every day is helpful to you. You have 8 sites that are easy access using shots anyway. Pumps, infusion sets more skin surface to use perhaps (?) but not much easier by any means. It has to stick and STAY for a couple days right…

No thanks shots works very happily by comparison

hey, Stuart, I guess I was lucky to go as long as I did without the “scar tissue issue”. It can get very depressing, especially when the endo says things like when I’m in a scar tissue area, I need to up my basal. whattt? how am I supposed to calculate that? And yes, my husband does help!

I think I’ve got you beat there. Been pumping for 20 years now and took off for a few years with a Transplant but went back. Scar tissur well let me see. Yep more than I have sites to put the infusion sets in! HA!! Inbetween pumping and surgery well let’s just say my tummy is now on perminate vacation! My thighs also say no!! HA! Rump all the way down and up right now! Too! HA!!

I first started pumping in 1993 I think or 92, with a two or three year break, so let’s say 13 years. And I’ve been faithful about rotating: abs both sides and slightly higher or lower, lower hip/upper bum area, and thighs, basically the front of them. The hips keeps me working on staying limber! I recommend yoga.

I’ve heard about scar tissue since I was very young and used to see signs of it when I gave most of my shots in my arms - but I haven’t had any trouble with it pumping.

I go through phases of massaging the sites when they’re not in usage (esp. thighs), with vitamin d or st. johns wort oil or something, just to try to keep the potential scar tissue area soft. I do give extra rests to areas that seem to be hardening up, but, like I’ve said, I haven’t been bothered by it! Another thing to be thankful for in this wild ride. Oh, I rotate every 4 or so days, depending.

The other thing is I don’t feel comfortable wearing the pump on my arm - but I wonder how others feel about that?? Does it work well for you?


I’ve been pumping about 8 years. Have scar tissue from injections (been type 1 for 33 yrs.) on arms, legs and upper abs. Have scar tissue on lower abs from pumping. I occasionally use my rear end and hips to infuse. Have more fat tissue there… So far so good when I do that. I don’t have a solution though. Wish I did. Gave my upper abs a break while pumping and started using that area again recently. Seems to be working. But scar tissue doesn’t go away. Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it. Have you tried upper back?

Also, with the infusion set “serters” and self taping sets, you should be able to reasonably reach those difficult areas… I usually do okay. Only once in a while need my hubby to tape me down.

My infusion sets have short needles, 6mm long. Have you tried longer needles? I am thinking longer ones might penetrate deep enough to be beneath the scar tissue. I have not tried the needles that are inserted at a 45 degree angle. Have you? My 6mm needle goes straight in, perpendicular to the skin surface. If I start usin the CGMS too then I may run out of areas that do not have scar tissue.

I’ve only used the 9mm -I’m thinking of trying the 6mm - Ha! I’ve not tried the 45 degree.
lately, I’ve been more attentive to rotating. and writing down where I’m putting it, and I guess I’ve just been lucky - 2days per set.

I switched to the angled version many many years ago and love them! I’m not a tiny person by any stretch of the imagination, but I found the straight sets were quite painful almost all of the time. I don’t use the inserter either, I just insert by hand.

I just started using an inserter - ha! I can reach more places, esp if my husband helps aim it. I’m 5’2" - there’s just not enough room there. When I look at these swimmers in the Olympics with their long torsos, I find myself thinking, “now wouldn’t it be easy to find a place to stick!”

I think that too and also I WANT THOSE VIENS!!! My kinda decided to blow on me after a transplant so now I have to go through about 4 to find one that won’t blow and hurt like crap when they do!!! HA!!

oh, I know - mine are shot, too! They got a major workout in 1979 when I ruptured my kidney and was in the hospital for months!

Hey Marie,

Have you ever watched wresling and got jealous of their veins? I really want to hurt Triple H b/c He has some good veins! Ok now I’m sounding like a vampirer I’ll hush up!

Sorry, trying this comment again. Just over 8 years here. No serious scar tissue problems. Have always used the abdomen and am now trying to rotate to upper buttocks. Tried the hip once and it burned when I walked.

I’ve been having this infuriating problem for a while now. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one. I can’t even remember how long I’ve been on the pump… must be at least over 10 years. I would never go back to MDI. I’m sure this is why I am so scarred. Is there some sort of sensor that can detect if there is scar tissue? If not, then someone should invent one and make mega $.