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Port Removal

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Everyone. Just had my port removed this morning. I know that their were questions posted about this at one time and just thought I would share my experience.

My surgical oncologist said he lets his patients decide if the want their port removal under general or local. He said about 75% chose general mainly because of anxiety and all they have been through. Either way he does the procedure in the OR for infection precautions. I opted for local. The procedure went just fine and I felt very little. I have a great surgeon and we talked about anyhting and everything during the procedure. Once the local wore off I have been experiencing some pain but not too bad. The dressing stays on for 5 days to keep it from getting wet. I can shower tomorrow. I can't wait to see what my chest will look like without that big bump sticking out!!

I asked him if I could keep it. He said "somehow I knew you would ask me that". He gave me the biohazardous waste speech and I had to concede. They actually label it and send it to pathology. He told the RN to label it as "gallbladder" and see what they say. He is a funny guy- odd for a surgical oncologist I think.
All in all it was not bad and I am ready to move on-hopefully continuing as NED and never needing his services again!!


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6733
Joined: Feb 2009

So glad you got it out. That is going to be such a big relief knowing that this is just one more thing to get rid of the memory. Glad you didn't experience any pain and that you had a good surgeon. The surgeon who put mine it was a jerk so I'm glad you had an easy time.

Enjoy the port removal and starting to feel normal again.


Posts: 37
Joined: Jul 2009

I love it when I'm given the option of local on procedures. I'm one of those ones who wants to see everything for myself.

Great doctors who also have a good sense of humor are a godsend!

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

My surgeon isn't giving me an option. He said he always removes the port in the office. My onc said I can schedule it for anytime after my last tx on August 12th. I'm going to wait the two weeks, have a CBC and make sure my WBC's are okay before that and my dental cleaning, just in case. My WBC's have only been low once and that was before they reduced my chemo pre my 3rd treatment.

I'm not sure if I'll have a dressing. When Dr. Griffith inserted my port, he glued my skin shut! I had no bandage, stitches or staples and other than a white line, you couldn't tell anything had been done.

Glad it went okay and hope the discomfort is gone.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I finished my last chemo treatment in oct 2007. My reversal was Dec 21,2007. I had my port out in my surgeons office in January 2008. For me I wanted it out as soon as possible. I wanted all visible signs of my treatment to be gone. The worst part was the numbing, he did mine with a local. I could feel him tugging to get it out but felt no pain. While he was removing my port my nose itched and without thinking I reached up and scratched and accidentally brushed the surgeons hand. He had to put on different gloves as I had compromised the sterile site. I was sore that nite after it was removed. He also removed and checked my sutures from my reversal. It was completely closed and looked good. My port was a good thing during treatment. I can feel a little dip in my skin where it used to be. Dawn when was your last treatment? Some people want to keep their's in just in case.

Julie 44
Posts: 479
Joined: Oct 2008

hey how long after your last treatment was your port removed??? I am asking because my last treatment was 4/22 and I still have mine in..The doc told me 3-6 months afterwards..Then I developed gallbladder problems and now a hernia so I need surgery for them..He said after that he will talk to me about getting it out...But like everyone else I want it out so I can be completely done with everything......JULIE

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

I think that opinions vary widely on how long after to wait to have it removed. Some have it removed soon after chemo is done. Mine was a year after chemo and 6 months after last met surgery. I wanted to make sure that my follow up scan was NED post chemo and surgery. It sure will be easier not having to get it flushed every month. My treatment center is about an hour away. Just one less thing to worry about.

Julie- sorry to hear of your gb and hernia problems. Maybe he can take your port out when you have that surgery-you'll be under anyway.


Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

I had the same thought about just in case but the surgeon told me that it should not be kept in"just in case" because of the possibilities of clots etc. My last chemo was 5/2008 but I did have an additional surgery in Nov. 2008 of my other ovary that was positive for metastatic disease.No chemo after that since it was resectable and no other evidence of mets anywhere else. I then had a clean scan at the end on May 2009. Hoping it was the right decision to have it removed.

Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Mornin' Dawn

Such a great story! I'm so glad that you were able to do that. It always makes you feel better.

I remember when I had my 1st one taken out - it was a few days before Christmas - and I wanted it out as my present. I'd rub my hand over the spot and just feel my chest instead of the bump - it was the absolute best.

Sadly, in March '08, I had the 2nd one installed - they put it right back in the same spot, on the left side. It has not been mentioned when it could come out - for me I guess it will take a little bit longer and we have to see about current conditions that may necessitate me keeping it for awhile longer.

But I dream of the day when I can have it taken back out and hopefully never needing another one for a long time, if not forever.

I love a success story like this one. The ports are good for treatment, but they are a constant reminder to us of what they are there for.

Take it EZ

Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Sorry to hear that you had to have a second one put in. That is my fear. I wondered if they could put it in the same area due to the possibility of scar tissue. It is good to know that it is possible.

I hope yours will be out soon and never have to look back.


KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

I had my port removed in November 2008. My oncologist likes to leave them in for at least a year after completing chemo. My port was kind of like a security blanket to me so it took that time to be ready to let it go. My surgeon removed it in office surgery suite. Went fine, in fact my mother sat in the room reading a magazine and talking with the surgeon and nurse while taking it out. It was not painful and not a big deal. In fact we went shopping afterwards to celebrate!


Posts: 453
Joined: Aug 2008

Mine also stayed in a year after chemo was finished. I know what you mean about the security blanket. It is a little scary-but I guess they can put another one in again and start all over if necessary.Just praying that isn't the case.
So glad yours went well and you sound as if you are doing great!!


kristasplace's picture
Posts: 956
Joined: Oct 2007

I was told the port could stay in for seven years safely. Of course it would have to be flushed every six weeks, and i never went in to get mine flushed after chemo ended. I wasn't even asked if i still wanted it. My oncologist just told me to have my surgeon remove it during my takedown, and even though the takedown didn't happen as it was supposed to back in February, she took it out. I still have a lot of pain there, and itchiness. If i rub it too hard, it feels like it's still inside there. I wonder if it's all in my head because it always bothered me when it was in there too.

I didn't know you couldn't keep them once they were out! I wanted mine, but i forgot to ask the surgeon about it. I was going to start a U.F.O. collection with it!

Congratulations on getting it out!


johnnybegood's picture
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

i am done with treatments and my onc said i could get mine out whenever i wanted to.im am waiting til i go for my 2 week check up .been having a lot of blood problems having to get platlets and then 2 weeks later having to get 2 pints of blood.i will see what my counts our first.better safe than sorry.....Godbless....johnnybegood

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