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Port flushing question

lmliess's picture
lmliess
Posts: 331
Joined: Dec 2008

Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone!
For those of you that are done with chemo and still have your port...how often do you get it flushed? My last appointment was Nov 20 and my next is Jan 8. That is 7 weeks. Is that too long to wait? My Onc's office didn't seem too concerned but everything I read and in the past it was always about 4 - 5 weeks.

khl8
Posts: 809
Joined: Nov 2009

I was told every 4 weeks, but if I went a little longer it would be all right. I go to a satellite center to have it flushed so I dont have to go to the main hospital campus.
Kathy

Kerry S's picture
Kerry S
Posts: 607
Joined: Dec 2009

I go every 5 weeks. The nurse told me she had a guy come in that had not flushed for 5 years. She was shocked when it flushed fine.

coloCan
Posts: 1849
Joined: Oct 2009

but believe every four weekks is standard.....Steve

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4297
Joined: Jun 2009

Port flushing is best every 30-days.

Some places go 4-6 weeks.

-Craig

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I go in for my 3 months lab tomorrow and I will have mine flushed then. If Im clean tomorrow and my cea is still down im gonna start to push for the port to come out. So actually there are flushing mine every 12 weeks......

KATE58's picture
KATE58
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

I have a power port and my doctor said
every 4 weeks is what they perfer.
but could go 8 weeks without a problem,
but no more.

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

Mine was every 7-8 weeks for the Smart Port...but I am having it taken out on January 6!

Happy New year! Vicki

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 4261
Joined: Feb 2009

I had the Power Port and I was told every four weeks. If your office doesn't seem to think that is a big deal, I guess they know best. Hope you had a great Christmas.

Kim

ann2008's picture
ann2008
Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2009

As a nurse we learn once a month is usual, but my Onc says every 6 weeks is ok. Have not had any problems with mine so far.

cherryames
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2009

My oncologist has changed to every three months, and has had no problems with clotting or anything else.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4672
Joined: May 2005

I'm still in treatment but I did go through a spell where I'd go 6 weeks between treatments. I have a HAI pump and that gets refilled every 8 weeks. I do think it can go up to 8 but I'm not positive. I would see what your Onc says and go with that. The ports are a great thing, I'm glad I had mine installed all those years ago. I'd hate to think what my veins would look like if I didn't get one.

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

I used to get mine flushed every 3 months (yes, that is MONTHS, not WEEKS), then they changed it to every 4 months. I never had any problems, and kept it for 6 yrs after I was done with chemo (MAJOR security blanket! lol)

Happy New Year to you!

Stacy

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

In the months following completion of chemo I went 10-12 weeks between flushings. I thought it seemed like a LONG time, but the onc. said not to worry. Never had any problems. May you have a Happy New Year.
Warm regards,
Joanne

gruffy
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2009

I am a little over half way with my chemo treatment. I thought the port was removed shortly after the last chemo session. Am I wrong thinking that? They don't use it to draw blood out since it won't work for that process. They use my arm for blood draws.

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

They are removed normally dependant on your oncs advice...Mine wants me to keep it in for the duration of the 5 year mark but I don't think thats gonna happen. I want all things cancer gone from me, except the bag...now that needs to stay....They want to leave it in for awhile to make sure its not needed again........Buzzard

VickiCO's picture
VickiCO
Posts: 934
Joined: Oct 2008

My oncologist said leave it in for a year "just in case." But it is starting to bother me, and it's been a year (almost) since my first surgery, and I am NED, so he said take it out. My surgeon said if we need it again, it's simple to put a new on in. I go in next Wednesday to have it removed. Thank God he doesn't take them out in the office - I don't think I could stand being awake!

Many hugs, Vicki

Buzzard's picture
Buzzard
Posts: 3073
Joined: Aug 2008

I betcha as smart as the grandson is I bet he could take it out for ya and save ya the office visit...You'll have to hold still though....hehe.......Buzz

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 940
Joined: Dec 2009

You make me feel better. I'm also a nurse and have never heard of power ports, small ports, or a regular port. My mom/babies are generally healthy when I get them as patients. :)

I've taken care of patients with many kinds of central lines such as multi-med lines (triple lumen port that goes in the subclavien) port-a-caths and PICC lines. I've never had to access a port-a-cath, but know the logistics of it. I've heard of groshongs (never messed with them) and others but these I've never heard of. I think this might be a detriment of living and working in a small town? :o)

Holly

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

The power port I have is one of the newest ports, it's so new that when I went to a local hospital during an infection, the nurses there had NO idea how to access it, they then found a nurse from a different floor who did know how, and she actually came down to the floor, to access me, right in front of those other nurses and student nurses, so I was pretty much being a "model" for them on her teaching them how to access a power port lol...

Don't feel like you're in the dark, there's alot of nurses out there just learning their ways as well on the job, right there and then :)

Hugsss!
~Donna

ann2008's picture
ann2008
Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2009

I do know the power port can tolerate getting the contrast for a CT scan. It has to go in pretty fast and forceful. The dual port has two separate ports that can get fluids or two meds at the same time. The regular port is/was round with access in center. Mine is just a small regular port and I want someone who has accessed one before to do mine. When they miss it hurts getting the second stick. Anyway mine is supposed to stay in for 2 years and if it can I will let it because it was major pain maneuvering(sp?) that thing under my collar bone. But since it healed it has not given me any problems. I forget it is there. The ports may not always be able to draw blood but may be able to put fluids in. If you ever have to receive blood or fluids or just be in the hospital for something not related to cancer and need access for fluids. As a critical care nurse we are always happy to have access no matter what kind. Gracie maybe as it heals it will be less painful. I think maybe the older ones are larger. Maybe I have helped answer some questions, but phillieg I am curious about the HAI?

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I forgot to tell you how they work. What mine is, is a little round drum looking appliance that compared to the first one I had, which was a mediport, a single barrel, (the power port is a double barrel one), works better, since not only can it be used to draw blood, give medicines and be used for contrast, the single barrel could only be used to draw blood or administer medicines, one at a time. I'll type out what it says here on my PowerPort Information Guide:

Your PowerPort implanted port allows clinicians to easily deliver medications or fluids or withdraw blood samples without having to repeatedly stick your peripheral nerves directly with a needle. This makes it more comfortable for YOU. Because the PowerPort Implanted Port places medications into the large central veins instead of the small peripheral veins, the medications mix more thoroughly in the blood, diluting them so they are less harmful to your vascular system.

The PowerPort Implanted Port is used with the PowerLoc Safety Infusion Set, which enables fluids called contrast agents to be power-injected (delivered at a high rate) into your bloodstream, as a result, tissues in your body show up more clearly., making it easier for your doctors to monitor the status of your condition. Power-injected CECT scans are safe, non-invasive procedures that provide important information for disease dx and tx.

When I was first dx'd, I had a single barrel mediport, which could only be used to withdraw blood, and distribute chemo. It was just a single-line port. Now, with this PowerPort, it has 2 barrels, where they can give fluids, and even take blood at the same time :) They were even able to give me a blood transfusion while giving me chemo at the same time as well, having 2 lines coming out of my port (which is implanted in my left collarbone area).

It just makes things easier with less needle pricks in the hands and arms, and getting the meds and blood going instead of waiting for one to finish, it's pretty handy! I hope this helped a bit! :)

Hugsss!
~Donna

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 940
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks for the info! One more question for the onc. :)

HollyID's picture
HollyID
Posts: 940
Joined: Dec 2009

I too was an LPN for 13 years and there is no such thing as "JUST" an LPN. We are ALL members of a health care team. I've been doing this job long enough to know that LPNs are sometimes more in tune with care than RNs. I know I was. It's kind of a brainwashing job they do on us to become RNs. :o)

RNs are no smarter than LPNs -- we're just trained differently. I work with one LPN on my floor and I do go to her for advice once in a while. She's been there a lot longer than I have and knows ALL the ropes. Maybe that's what made RN school so easy. Listening, watching and reading. In Idaho, LPNs can access central lines, but only according to facility policy. That's why they utilized us so much in ER, ICU and other high care areas.

I have to say though, when I get a diabetic mother or a mom with some weird disease I'm not familiar with, they get to educate me. They know their disease better than I do and they know what works for them and what doesn't. I just want to help and get them what they need. Books might give me a great overview, but, they don't know it all. Neither does the internet. :o)

This is a great resource here and I wish I would have found it in November, before my surgery and after my dx. :o)

Actually, I think this is why we're all here. :o) I'm just trying to learn more about my illness. Freakin' beast that it is!

lifeb4now
Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2010

there are differnet types of ports,thus not a standard for flushing/maintainence.Power port[as my husband has] ACS states monthly; but the 'tunneled' ports are more often,since part is inside and outside[which is kinda older design]the power port is the way to go; no external anything:)and there seems confusion over types of 'internal ports' i.e. power port/smart port are brands of same type,and YES they can access blood from this type,feeds into main vein and stops just short of the heart[plenty of blood there} And they are best left IN after chemo,even if NED,because your arent termed 'cancer-free' till you reach your 5 year mark.and yes many still have them then.While i disagree that you show have it taken out when your done with chemo,I know from our own experience that we couldnt 'start' chemo till it was placed,and it was a 20,000.00 bill.They put these in AND out outpatient surgery.
Unfortunately Esophageal Cancer-stg 3[gastric junction]is hard to beat tends to come back within 2 years in 80% of patients.MY husband was 46[median age is 62]
Hubbys biggest fear is that it never left,because we learned that even though it didnt show up on CT scan or intial biospy[ 0 of 24 ]lympnodes removed;3 weeks after surgery 5 tested positve MICROSCOPICALLY.SO husbands reasoning if it was microscopic there it could be microscopic ANYWHERE,since it cant be seen on any scans.So he ordered 6 more weeks of chemo afterwards
Since were were totally unprepared for post surgery chemo,it was a good thing it was still there.The only issue ever was the type of bandage they used; rectangular clear with adhesive border,wouldnt stay on between 7 day appts,sticky and had to cover over for showers, the second goround after surgery the used gauze squares covering the 'butterfly' then put on clear total adhesive second skin,worked beautifully!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7879
Joined: Aug 2005

This post originated last year.....

Hugs, Kathi

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