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port removal

RGW
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2010

I am having my chemo port removed on Monday after two years. Anyone had this done? What can I expect? The nurse told me that it basically is "the reverse of when they put it in," which isn't very helpful.

light42day
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2012

I haven't had mine removed yet but they told me I'd have to have anesthesia again and that it would be easier to take out than it was to put in. So that sounded ok to me. I was awake the whole time when they put it in even though I had anesthesia. That's nice that you get to finally have it removed! Can't wait to get mine out! Have one more treatment to go.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 684
Joined: Sep 2011

I never had a port, since I only had six rounds of chemo, but I am hard to "stick" and often wish I had a port. My question is, God Forbid, but if you have a reacurrence, will you have to have it put back in? Is there a time line for leaving it in or taking it out? I had a PICC line for another problem that was a pain since it went from forearm to about two inches from my heart. Just wondering what to do if my cancer comes back. Thanks, Debrajo P.S. I do think you will be much more comfortable having it out than putting it in! Good Luck!

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 408
Joined: Apr 2011

I still have mine in. It will be a year in on 28 April 2012. I had the last chemo 22 Aug 11 but I have had two CT scans, Sept and Dec. I am supposed to have another one this summer and my GynOnc Dr. wanted me to keep it in till then. It is Ok. I go every month to get it flushed. I have all the dates planned out on my calendar for the rest of the year to get it flushed. It twinges some but overall it does not hurt. It has been great because I hate needles and dread going to Dr to have blood work done. The port has made going to the GynOnc Dr better. The regular Dr still has to take blood from the vein. Not fun at all but I get through it. I have heard that it is easy getting it removed. Another lady at my work went through OVC, had the hysterectomy surgery, 6 rounds of carbo/taxol chemo and has already had her port removed. Same hospital I am going to, different Dr though. I told her I was jealous since she already had her port removed. One day it will be my turn so I will just wait. Good Luck on your port removal. If my cancer does return, I will get another port put in as it was easier on me then them sticking it in my arm or hand. trish

RGW
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2010

My oncologist wanted to wait until September to take the port out, which is 2 years after completing treatment. However, in the last few weeks, I have been having chest twinges and episodes of a fast heartbeat and she thinks it might be port related. So, out it comes. She told me that we can put it back in if we need to and I told her it wasn't fun to get it in last time. She replied, "what about cancer is fun?" Will let you all know how it goes.

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 340
Joined: May 2011

I got mine taken out last August 2011.
It is nothing. The doctor will give you local anesthesia, like the one you get at the dentist's office, with injection.

Take the port out and saw the incision. The stitches I had were like cover with glue, so each failed off by itself.
My scar is almost 100% gone.

Good luck!

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi.

I just got my port out in October after over five years! I was done treating in 2006 but they kept it in, giving me a variety of reasons. But it wasn't until my local hospitals refused to flush it since my doctor was in another state that I sought to have it removed. I went six months without having it flushed and it was making me nervous.

Getting it out was a breeze. They don't even put you out. (You can if you want). They just numb the area and then make an incision and the rest is pretty easy. Although because mine was in for over 6 years and it ended up a little twisted and buried more into my breast, it took a little bit longer to cut around. And since I wasn't put out, after stitching and bandaging you go home.

It is really easier than getting it in because you don't have to do the guidewire thingy which I didn't particularly like. I was nervous and once it was done I shouldn't have been. But it felt so great to finally have it out!

My best to you.

Kathy

RGW
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2010

Thanks, Kathy. That's exactly what I needed to hear. You helped me feel much better about this.

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1151
Joined: Sep 2011

and also feel reassured by the responses from the other women here. I'm a stage 2b ovarian cancer survivor who is fortunate to be currently NED. My chemo treatments ended a little over a year ago and I still have my port. At first I didn't want to even think about getting it removed, because I was afraid that the minute I had it taken out, my cancer would return. While my oncologist has already talked to me about its removal, he has also been supportive and sensitive to my fears. Lately, I've been thinking it's time to have it removed. Thanks to the discussion on this board, I think I'll have it removed sooner rather than later.

Kelly

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov 2009

RGW:

I too had that fast heartbeat/palpitations at times and chest twinges. I never really brought it up to my doctors however I believed it was port related. However, since I had it removed and after reading your post, I realize now that I don't have those feelings like I did. Although I did recently have a fast beat, but I did consume an extra amount of caffeine on an empty stomach.

My best to you!

RGW
Posts: 59
Joined: Mar 2010

My deportation went smoothly. It's a little sore & swollen today, but overall it wasn't so bad. It's nice to be able to have full range of motion of my neck again. I am looking forward to being able to hug people without having pain from the port. The interventional radiologist who removed it assured me that if I ever have to have it put in again (and he hopes that is never) that it will be no problem putting it back in the same place. Thanks for all the support.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov 2009

So happy for you! I am glad that is over for you. Its kind of funny that we go through major surgery and then get nervous on the small surgerical stuff. I think its just the fact that we have to do it!

Anyway, I hope you had a "deportation" party!

Kathy

lcr21
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2012

I just finished my first round of Gemzar, had Port put in before and it was a nightmare. 24/7 arm pain, due to it hitting a nerve. Now all further treatment has had to be stopped.
Because the Port never worked from day 1, then one day I reached my arm out and felt a snap. After this arm pain went away, but Port moved down twice and then I now have this horrible sensation in my throat. Feels like I have a string or noodle around my throat, it is causing a great deal of anxiety. My famous world renowned surgeon showed no concern, just wanted to redo it. No way!!!! Went elsewhere and having it remove this coming week, very scared because they have never heard of my symptom. But it is too much of a coinsidense that this sensation, started when I felt that snap. Please say a prayer for me, although you don't know me. I researched and found they could! continue treatment without a Port and also do the Radiation. The answer a pill they can give you instead of a Port, when I saw the new doctor he brought this up... I will never let them put another in, and it concerns me when they take it out, because what if something is snagged. I'm not being taken too seriously on the sensation in my throat, which is getting worse. So hoping and praying for the best.

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

Not sure how long you had your port in, but I had that same feeling whenever I swallowed for at least a week after getting the port put in. I also had alot of pain for a week or two which was startling since everything I read never mentioned pain. I thought, there is no way I can put up with this, but it did go away and now I don't even know the port is there. I'm sorry your port isn't working for you, but it wouldn't effect getting chemo or radiation. Just makes it easier for everyone involved.

Take care,
Cindy

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mar 2010

I was lucky as my power port has given me NO problems....knock on wood! I've learned that ports are made of plastic and also titanium, same ingredient artificial parts like hips and knees are made out of. One thing about titanium artificial parts, our immune systems can eat at the titanium and destroy it, causing wear. Now this doesn't happen to each person, more an individual situation depending on your system. Not sure if same issue with ports, but both are inserted in our bodies and bodies can reject parts.

Lastly, if we can keep our ports in during the chemo infusions, our veins will last longer. A friend of mine is an RN at a local hospital in the lab dept. They do all blood work, etc. She has filled me with stories of people who 10+ years ago had chemo, only using their veins NO PORT. Their veins today are almost shot...very difficult to draw blood. Chemo is so toxic it basically destroys our veins.

Do understand in some instances the ports don't work with our systems and best to be removed. In the end, if we can keep them, better for our veins long term.

Best to everyone,
Jan

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I think of the port is a kind of insurance policy. Keeping mine for now.

evrythings_zen's picture
evrythings_zen
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2011

I've had my port about a year and 1/2 and have been in remission since August 11. The plan was to leave it in for at least a year "just in case". I live 5 hours from where I received treatment so I have been having it flushed near home every 4-6 weeks. I went today to have it done and she couldn't get blood return & it hurt when she tried to do the saline.

About a week ago I noticed that it appeared to have moved, I can't feel it as well and the disc is not flat anymore. Also it feels like the little tube is squiggly (that's a medical term by the way :) instead of straight.I had no pain or discomfort until the RN was finished messing with it this morning.

Do these things slip? Has anyone had this problem & can they fix it or does it have to come out? I also planned on keeping it as long as I could. I would rather already have it if I need it again. It never gave me a bit of trouble until now.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov 2009

Yes, they can move. Mine moved and was a bit twisted. Some nurses are not that experienced with accessing the ports. (I had mine in for about six years). Some nurses can access it without barely a pinch. Others hurt like heck and leave a bruise. Every once in a while I would have trouble with blood return, then I would try to sit up straight, chest out, move this way or that way. Most of the time it would do the trick. But after getting it flushed every month for five years, I realized it was basically how the nurses accessed it.

This may make you laugh, but I had one nurse I swear I thought she was going fishing! She got that hooked needle, pressed on my chest with her one hand and HOOKED ME IN! I was glad I didn't get her too many times.

With regard to feeling it, my port really wasn't visible because it was lower and kind of settled more into my breast and twisted a bit. That is why I had to stick my chest out and twist a bit for some of the nurses.

The only reason I ended up having it removed is because my local hospital refused to flush it because my gyn/onc was in another state and my local PCP was not afiliated with those hospitals. I went five months without a flush and finally had someone remove it.

Karenhopeful
Posts: 38
Joined: Jan 2012

Interesting to read. My husband had a port and never a complaint. Mine has felt like a bruise is all around it since it went in 3 months ago. Mine has three bumps that stick up, it is not flat! Sometimes when they access it, it feels like I am getting stabbed!! My husband thinks I'm over reacting, but it hurts so much that I have my blood tests from my arm instead of my port. I used to hate those arm picks, but they hurt so much less than my port does. If I ever reach NED, it will be hard to decide what to do. If I take it out, I'll worry that my cancer will come back and I'll need it again. But I'd love to get rid of it!!

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

My port also sticks up - like a doorbell! and I think they use a large needle so we are getting stabbed! I think the nurse accessing it is the key to pain or no pain. Some people use a numbing agent to help. You might check into this.

Since they are placed in or behind a muscle, it may take awhile for the whole area to heal. I hope yours will settle down and behave itself!!

light42day
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2012

I just finished my Taxol/ Carbo treatments but my doctor wants me to wait two months before I have my port removed so I have time to recover first. My port seems like it has shifted or something and is lying on it's side now with the edges sticking straight up! Has anyone had this happen? I'd sure like to get it out of there soon!

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 945
Joined: Nov 2009

My port twisted and shifted and it was in my breast area so it didn't outright show on the surface and getting it flushed can be more of a task if you have an inexperienced nurse. Request a nurse that has more experience in ports. It makes a big difference.

I hope you get yours out soon. My doctor wanted me to wait a couple of months. Then a couple of months more. and then a couple of months more. Because it wasn't determined where my cancer originated from, he felt better leaving it in. Then he tells me we'll leave it in a bit more because it is easier taking it out than putting in it. But then he retired and the new doctor didn't want to remove it. So for almost six years after treatment, I kept going monthly to get it flushed out. I finally got it out in October.

But if it is two twisted or it can't be flushed, request the removal.

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