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Port a Cath

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

Hello Everyone, Am new here and I'll be brief. I woke up from surgery and already had a Port a Cath inserted into my lower abdomen. Not happy that I did not have a choice in that. Dr. keeps saying it's "nothing" and minimizing the idea of an alien form in my body. He is resistent to removing it. I have questions about potential problems, what is removal like, and is it possible to have sex with a port in your lower abdomen (after healing from surgery of course). I'd like real life experiences, not just what the Dr.s say...

Thanks so much.

Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1315
Joined: Jul 2012

I presume you are talking about the port for intra-peritoneal chemo (IP port). I am surprised that the doctor did not explain it to you before surgery, but legally the surgeon is allowed to do it if you or your proxy signed consent to "other necessary procedures".

IP chemo statistically gives optimally debulked stage 3C ovarian cancer patients 16 extra months survival compared to IV chemo, so you might want to keep the port.

But if for whatever reason you don't want it, you can insist on taking it out, which is a 5 minute painless out-patient procedure and continue with systemic chemo through IV.

If the incision heals well, you will not be able to feel the port, it's not noticable from outside and has absolutely no effect on having sex. Speaking of sex life, I would worry more about the effect of ovaries' removal, no estrogen, low libido and fatigue from chemo drugs.

I wish you best in your treatment and come back to the board often.

abrub's picture
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mar 2010

I had mine for 6 months, and yes, you can have sex with it in place.  Mine caused little discomfort, mostly gave me the hiccups because it rubbed my diaphragm a bit.

Removal - a shot of local anesthetic, and then done in a clinic procedure room (as opposed to in the regular office.)  It took a few minutes, and was no big deal.  Actually, my dr was surprised I wanted mine out - many people leave them in.  However, mine was causing some discomfort, and I chose to have it removed ASAP after being done with IP chemo.

(Aside - my IP chemo was done for my appendix cancer - totally different drugs from those you will be receiving, so I can't speak to the side effects of the chemo.  However, the process is basically the same - infuse the med, then roll from side to side to distribute it.)

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