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Chemo Port Removal

Posts: 153
Joined: Nov 2002

For those who had chemo ports, how long did you have it installed? My oncologist says keeping it in up to 2 years would be acceptable as long as it was still functioning well. From what I am hearing, he will check it every 3 months and top it up with a little heperin (sp) as they used to do after each chemo. Second related question...I'm hearing that it only takes a few minutes to get the port removed. Is that true? Were you kept awake during the procedure? I asked to be knocked out when they installed the port. I think they told me that installing the port was a lot more complicated than removing it. Thanks for any feedback.

Posts: 19
Joined: Apr 2003

I had my port implanted about 4 days before my chemo started in Jan '03 and I had it removed at the end of July. It was a quick surgery, and they didn't put me totally under like they did when they put it in. I was sorta conscious but mostly I just slept. I think it took about 45 min before I awoke in the recovery room. It's so nice to have it out and I was back to work the next day with little discomfort. Hope that helps, Julene

Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Rizzo15, I had my port removed immediately after chemo. My onco was having problems with it on my 2nd last chemo and it was causing me a lot of discomfort. So when she said I had to keep it in for 6 mths I said "eh no thanks" and had it removed. My surgeon was thankful that I did, as it was all clogged and of no use to me. I was knocked out for both install and removal. I hope this helps. Best wishes

bullfrog13's picture
Posts: 216
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Rizzo.. I waited from August to February to have mine out. Doc wanted me to ''live with it'' coz they were not 1oo% sure I would not need anymore treatments.

I had mine installed in April of 01 and had it removed February of 03, so it was in just under two years. By the time I had it out it was becoming painful, would no longer draw blood and was pretty much worthless. I had mine taken out, they gave me an iv that only knocked me out for a little while, and when they stopped the IV I woke right up. I would have gone to work right after removal, but the IV gave me a headache, so I took the rest of the day off.

Good luck hon..and God Bless.

Posts: 482
Joined: Apr 2003

I had two different types of ports. A plastic port was placed in my upper left arm 3/13 by radiology with local lidocaine to theoretically numb the area. Installation was more than acceptably uncomfortable. The line developed clots, cut the circulation to my left arm off on 6/8 and had to be removed immediately. Removing the port was slightly less uncomfortable than installing it, but was still more than acceptably uncomfortable. The second port was titanium. It was installed on the right chest wall by a vascular surgeon in the OR 6/24. I should have insisted on having the first one done by him. I received local anesthetic with IV sedation. I said ouch twice, heard him say LIDOCAINE and I zoned out. I had that one removed today 8/26 with local anesthetic and IV sedation again. It turned out that a pocket of infection formed in there so the area was cleaned out and packed with gauze. My discharge papers direct me to remove the packing on Thursday and shower to flush out the area; then cover the area with a plain gauze dressing. Now I am certain that it is theoretically possible for a person to do this, but my oh my. On the other hand, you quickly learn that you are actually able to do virtually anything if it means avoiding admission. The port is supposed to be flushed MONTHLY during maintenence. The oncologist wanted me to keep the port for a while longer (not knowing it was infected); the radiation oncologist first said that the port was directly in the area to be treated and it had to come out. The day before it was removed, he denied saying that. However, the surgeon told me prior to installation that he wanted it out as soon as chemo was over and I did not need it anymore, so I proceeded. Good thing I did. The infection could have caused endocarditis within days had it not been removed.

Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 2003

Had my titanium port put in during twightlight sleep and my surgeon did it and it was wonderful. kept that big ol sucker in there about 6months. To have it removed I did in the office with my surgeon since he knew I was a strong tough cookie. i was a little nervous but he numbed the complete area and cut it out of the "pocket of scar tissue"it sat in and poof I was home and hour later. Very cool! My port was "babyed" by my chemo team and kept very workable but only 6 mths is a lot different. My prayers are with you DeeNY

Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2003

My port was put in in March '03.My last chemo was June 30 '03.I thought I would be able to have it out after the chemo but they said no I had to wait a year just in case.I go once a month and have it flushed.My surgen told me that removal could be done in his office and it would not take long.Hope this helps.Twinks 56 but really Teresa

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

I kept mine for a little more than a year after chemo. I just had it out Monday in my surgeon's office. It took about 30-45 minutes because it had formed quite a few adhesions, but my surgeon is always very considerate where pain is concerned and he kept me very comfortable with lidocaine. It's been a little sore for the last few days, but not bad at all. Diane

Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 2002

I had my port taken out a couple of weeks after my last chemo. It was done at the surgeon's office and he just numbed the area. I was not under at all and it only took about 15 minutes.

Bobbie Jo

Posts: 116
Joined: Aug 2003

Hello I was half awake and half out of it when I got my portacathetar in and I remember looking at the man standing on the left side of me I told him it hurts and he said what hurts dear and I pointed to my neck and said the hole thing hurts . I still have mine in and I had my last chemo treatment in June . It only takes a few minutes to remove it that is what my general surgeon told me when I saw him on Tuesday because I asked when I can get mine out and he said any time.I'm going to wait until I see my oncologist in October just to be on the safe side. I will be praying for you because I know that you are going through what is called a storm like I am. All we have to do is keep our trust in God .John 6:14-21 and take one day at a time . You are in my prayers.

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