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My Mom just had a "septum" port inserted yesterday.

ked419
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

Does anyone have one, and why do doctors opt for a port of that kind, as opposed to the other I have seen? I learned with a septum port the skin still has to be punctured and this bothers me because my Mom has been poked and proded enough!!!! :(

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

The septum is just the center of the port, not a whole other kind of port. It's the portal thru which the drugs pass into the bloodstream, and conversely, blood is drawn out.

Ports that are accessed every day - for providing nourishment, etc - are the only type that do not require a skin puncture. Those are made so that there is a tube extending from the port, so the patient can self administer the liquid nourishment.

My port is called a Power Port. It is located on my chest wall, just abouve my left breast. The "stick" to access it is greatly minimized by the application of a special cream, which contains lidocaine. Ask your mom's doctor about the numbing cream. He/she will be glad to oblige.

Carlene

clamryn's picture
clamryn
Posts: 508
Joined: Jun 2010

I have the Power Port too. Believe me I love it. I tried to be the brave one with my first rounds of chemo and opted not to have the port put in. My veins almost didn't make it through 6 infusions. Your mom will be so glad she has it. Like Carlene said.... Ask the doctor for the creme to numb it. This is put on about an hour before the infusion. She will do fine with it.

Linda

ked419
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

Thank you both for this. I will have to mention the "numbing cream" to her. I wish you both well.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I used to get the numbing creme before my infusions, but I find that now I have minimal feeling in the area of the port where they insert the needle. It must toughen up from being stretched for such a prolonged time or something. I just take a deep intake of breath as they punch in and it doesn't even hurt. I have had my post accessed for something like 32 chemo infusions, 4 blood transfusions, and 6 or 7 CT/PET scans, and love my Power Port.

One bit of advice for your mom from my surgeon: He said to always wear a good support bra and 'hike those puppies up' by shortening the straps. He said to put on the bra first thing in the morning and take it off just before laying down. That eliminates the 'tug' of the weight of the breasts pulling down on the port's internal tubing, and pushes up some extra skin and fat over the port if you are bony-chested at all. When I first had my port in I even wore a special sleep bra because I just didn't want any trouble with my port, but I don't do that any more. (although I love having my sleep bras to wear for CT/PET scans since they have no underwires or metal clasps).

As long as your mom is shopping for bras, she also might want to think about getting more button-down or lower U-neck and V-neck tops so that her port is easily accessible when she goes in for treatments. I like to wear a low-cut tank top under a cardigan for treatments and sweat pants. I wear compression stockings with fuzzy channeil (sp??) crew socks over them, so I can kick off my shoes during treatments. (((Hugs)))

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I also wore tank tops under a button-up shirt when I went for chemo, a short-sleeved shirt in summer and long-sleeved in winter. And sweat or yoga pants (full disclosure....my yoga pants have never been near a yoga mat).

I love the fuzzy slipper socks, too, and now get lots of them at Christmas time, from family and friends. I have an entire wardrobe of them and can coordinate my socks to just about any outfit.

A neck pillow like travelers use was essential for me, as well. So much better than the little square things the chemo lounge provided.

Carlene

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