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When to remove the port?

Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I seem to recall seeing some discussion about this before but of course cannot remember the details. I'm curious as to how long people kept in their port after treatment was finished. My onc is talking about removing mine before Christmas (as a Christmas present!). I had surgery just before last Christmas, and 6 months of chemo which ended in June. I seem to recall that some people keep their port in for several years (?). I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, having it there - and needing to get it flushed - is a reminder of 'the beast' and I look forward to getting rid of it all. On the other hand, should I have a recurrence (another?!), it would be a pain (in many ways!) to have it put in again. I welcome your experiences and input on this.
ps I had a clear MRI early September - yea!!

Sunriver's picture
Posts: 50
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Tara,

I was stage II, surgery, four rounds of chemo, clear ct after three months - at that point they took my port out. I didn't ask about a possible recurrence - I guess I didn't want to jinx it. My overall feeling is that the more positive I can be the better and keeping the port any longer than absolutly necessary is not being very positive. I hope that helps...Mark

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

My onc says she is superstitious so she wants me to keep it in for two years past the time of therapy. Doesn't bother me. Sort of like a badge of honor for the war on the beast. I don't think you will get any clear consensus. Just depends upon how much it bothers you to have it.


scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi Tara,

I kept mine for 2 years and like Dick, I thought of it as a badge of honor daring the ******* cells to come back.

I also agree with him that you do what makes you feel the most comfortable in mentally fighting the beast.

Lisa P.

apache4's picture
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

My opinion is that they can be really handy to have. Mine is working very well and I will keep it no matter what. I had to go to ER a week after my surgery and I sure wish I had had it then. All those sticks were painful and nerve-wracking. One stick is enough for me. I think that my keeping it in, the beast will know I am always ready to fight again. Besides, who needs to be "put under" one more time :)

Posts: 405
Joined: Mar 2007

Hi Tara
My husband is on about the same timeline as you. He finished his chemo, had his last surgery in June, and a clean scan early this month. His doctor is also talking about removing the port right after Thanksgiving but said it was our choice. My husband is anxious to get rid of it and I, being a little superstitious, am somewhat reluctant. Of course it is his call and I know he will be happy to be done with that port and alll that goes with it!

Great news about your MRI!


suzannchili's picture
Posts: 135
Joined: Mar 2003

I kept it in for one year.

4law's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

My port was removed after the first CT scan and colonoscopy following my post-op chemo came back NED. If you're NED I see absolutely no reason to keep it. I respectfully disagree with keeping it as a badge of honor. Keeping it would not, in my opinion, be a badge of honor -- it would be a brand of slavery to this nasty disease. If worse comes to worse and the beast reappears, a new port can easily be replaced. Thinking positively is important and removing the port put me into a new state of mind -- a physical reminder (minor scar) that I beat the beast. A minor scar sure beats a port in your chest with tubes in your artery and regular doctor visits to flush it. So long as your doctors say it's OK, take it out -- you'll find that a very heavy weight has been lifted. Good Luck!

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