Plastic versus metal canulla insertion sets

I use the tandem pump. So, a few years ago I switched from a plastic cannula to metal because i’d have solid inflammation at the site afterward. My endo, said that it was potentially a lipid solidification response, but who really knows. I switched to metal, which then made the post insertion solidification immediately go away. I’m very slight in weight and as time progressed the metal started causing pain at insertion and during usage as well as I couldn’t get sets to stay inserted and insulin would pool under the tape. I just moved back to plastic 30 degree insertion sets and the sites are inflamed most of the time and the post site area is solidifying again. I’m going to be talking to my endo about this issue, but I wanted to get peoples experiences with this kind of thing. I definitely have an absorption difference. The sites actually scab up verses sealing almost immediately with metal. I’d appreciate anyone’s input.

I can’t address your direct question but do have a couple of thoughts - I’m.a brainstormer and not a scientist (trust me on that) so here goes:

  • Check with an allergist or dermatologist - they may have treatments to help with your body’s response.
  • I wonder if a 90 degree set might work for you - perhaps the angle of insertion is aggravating your skin and causing the response. Your pump rep might be able to spot you a couple to see if that makes a difference. As I said, Just trying to cover all the angles - no pun intended.
  • Some people on the forum have found that Omnipod worked for them where Tandem’s infusion sets were problematic so that’s a pump option you might look into. As far as I know they still offer sample pods - those just stick on the skin and there’s no cannula so you would need to see if you could get a real one to try out (without insulin).
  • One last thing - are you sure you’re not allergic to the insulin itself? That’s rare but a possibility. Maybe a different formulary would work.

Wishing you all the best!

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Dorie, Good suggestions for bshap. I’ve texted about my own Tandem cannula problems before. Dennis gave me the abc’s of scientific info which made rational sense to me. I have had so many problems with Tandem infusion sets whereas problems were very rare with minimed infusions sets which I used for 15 years with my CosmoZ, Animas & Animas Vibe. I hope Tandem techs might have some suggestions or knowledge that is helpful to bshap.

I would add one suggestion:
:black_small_square:︎ Obtain name & phone # of Tandem area representative. I got it from endo CPA who helps manage my Tandem t:slim x2. I found that the Tandem area representative was able to help me with a problem with pump when Tandem phone reps were not helpful.

:black_small_square:︎ I too tried the Tru-Steel infusion sets bc of bent soft cannulas. My body rejected Tru-Steel cannulas inserted on my abdomen as evidenced by pain & irritation. I am not thin. I tried using the Tru-Steel cannula once more at a different site on my abdomen with the same results.

Despite problems with soft cannulas I changed back to 90° Tandem Autosoft XC. I like Tandem’s C-IQ so much that I will continue to try & work out my problems with Tandem’s soft cannulas.

I wish & hope the best for bshap.

I have trouble with infusion sets because I am thin. (the good and bad: good to be thin but limits my insertion sight choices) I switch between the tru-steel and Vari-soft depending where my new insertion sight will be.