Trouble with Infustion Sites

I have had diabetes for almost 3 years and have been on the pump for 2 1/2 years.  I am having trouble with finding sites as I am only 110 lbs.  My sites on my abdomen and hip have started getting big dimples" and My Dr. says that the fat has died there and will never grow back.  Has anyone else had this problem? I use the smallest quick set.  Any suggestions on how to rotate my sites better?



"the fat has died there"....  hmmmmm

anyway sorry to hear you are having troubles Rachel,  maybe your pump manufacturer can send you some infusion sets as "samples" to try.  I would stick with the 90 degree, myself - but there are short, slanted infusion sets (good for the skinny) too that you might want to take a look at.  Here is a small chart for infusion sites:  (I borrowed this from "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh and Ruth Roberts)

Sorry to hear about you having probs.  If I could give you some of my "fat" I would gladly give it to you <lol>.  Joking aside though, the page that Joe scanned for you hopefully will help you perhaps in finding other sites that might have abit if flesh on them.  I've only been pumping for 18 months now - and so far haven't noticed any dimpling of the skin (had that when I was multiple injecting along with the type of insulin I was using - but worked around it with rotating).  Do you have someone that could help put an infusion set (90 degree not the 45 degree) - into your lower back area (shown on the pic Joe scanned)?  I asked my hubby to help me with putting those in - to give my legs / stomach a rest - and they went in very well (was scared at first of having him put it into me - but now am used to it).

Hey Rachel!  I have been using the pump for approx. 8 years now so don't get discouraged and give up!  Definitely contact your manufacturer and (possibly?) a Diabetes educator because some of those sites can absess if infection sets in and trust me...NOT PRETTY!  I don't have the "dimples" you describe, but I do have hardened "knots" in my upper thighs from only injecting myself there for the first 5 or 6 years i had diabetes, so now I am unable to use those sites due to them being unable to absorb insulin.  Be sure to use a definite rotation between the sites on the chart you were sent... that should help!  Best of luck! :D

Using areas other than your abdomen would be very helpful...I have recently started using my arms and have had great results. :)

My arms have a few more issues with a new site than my abdomen does but I've found ways around that - bolusing a few units right away and then keeping a close eye on my numbers for a while.  Sometimes it takes a few hours for the new site in my arm to "get started".  I know that technically that doesn’t make much sense but I have talked with others who have the similar issues.

Also, why not try your thighs.  Personally, my thighs are a little large, lol, to be useful but at 110lbs I would definitely try them out if I were you! You may have great absorption there with such little body fat.  :)

I have been on the pump for 4 years now and found that chart posted above to be enormously helpful.  My issue has been a sensitivity to the adheasive used on the quicksets.  I rotate between my legs, arms and abdomen on a regular basis, because after the third day post injection the site area is red and irritated. It takes about 3 weeks for the area around the site to become usable.  Don't get fustrated, you just need to experiment a bit and find a routine that works the best for you. Good luck!

I hae had Diabetes for 51 years.  I have used the pump for about five years.  I have never heard of fat dying (I wish it would).  I do know that using the same site causes a kind of callus build up which makes the site no longer viable.  In my case, pn pccasion, I have to move infusions  and start over. Sometimes the insulin just does not absorb much or at all.  Do not give up.  Use the chart.  The pump is amazing.

Switch to a 45 degree site, a Silhouette® or the Inset™ 30

When I weigh below 130 I can't use the Quick Set, it goes in too deep and leaves red marks. With the sillhouette you can find that the leg is a good place to put your site. Just cross your leg and find that line that goes across the thigh, I go a little up from there and pull up the skin and inset the site very shallow in the skin. I'll use my arms with the angled inserts too, only I put them closer to the back of my arms. It is much easier to use alternative sites with the angled sets and give those popular sites a rest for a few days.

So my final advise to you is switch out for an angled infusion site =) good luck!

...I wish I could make my fat die. I'm actually experiencing the same issue right now. I have been on the pump for about 2 1/2 - 3 years and until recently had been using my stomach/"love handle" area as my infusion sites. These areas now have developed scar tissue under the skin and are hard and often sore. I've been experimenting with other infusion spots...most recently my upper flank area where there's a good amount of muscle/skin (about 5 inches down from the armpit and towards my back), but I've found that those don't like to stay in and actually have a really nasty bruise on the left side from the one I had in this last weekend. I used to rotate between the left and right side above my waist mainly because that part of me had some fat and was relatively hairless.

Along the hair traing of thought...For a woman (typically not fuzzy myself) I would think that the above diagram is a pretty good summation as well as suggestion for other infusion sites to try so I'd say go for it if your lifestyle activities allow some of those sites.

Personally, I'm stuck because I can't use my legs (hamstring/quad areas). They are fuzzy and literally all muscle. I've considered trying the infusion site in an asscheek, but I really don't think that would stay in for the duration due to my active lifestyle that leads to sweating and sometimes falling/sliding on said asscheek(s). The middle of my stomach is out of the question as well due to the fuzzy issue. Maybe I should invest in some Nair...

Hope the above helped before I got off on the tangent of site issues for people with body hair.



Hi Rachel. I was diagnosed back in 2007 with Type 1. Just recently, I was diagnosed with Type 2! My family and I thought it was a joke, but it's true! I can tell you how I did it, but I don't want to offend anyone here who believes no cure is possible. You can email me directly and I will answer you:

Hi Joe. I was diagnosed back in 2007 with Type 1. Just recently, I was diagnosed with Type 2! My family and I thought it was a joke, but it's true! I can tell you how I did it, but I don't want to offend anyone here who believes no cure is possible. You can email me directly and I will answer you:

try you thighs, sorry for the rhyme, i am also very thin and constantly inserting in my abdomen recently caused a tear in my muscles with resulted in a bilingual hernia tear which could have caused what they call 'hernial strangulation, which is very dangerous" it is only my thighs or the side of the hips for me from now.

sorry for my sloppy posts, my eyesite is bad.

I don't think your doc thinks of the fat as dead, but doc may not think you are intelligent enough to understand the process of scarring (sorry, docs can be jerks). I used to only use my abdomen. Got hard spots there.... went to a rotation.....was nervous about using my well defined triceps as a spot for insertion, but a few painful insertions later, the insulin had stored fat where it was inserted and now it is a comfortable, if not convenient place to insert. and @ Pat.....if I didn't shave, I wouldn't have anywhere to insert. My first  few times trying to insert were a little humorous/frustrating, as my hair would push the 90* insertion set back out.