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any thoughts on portacaths?

Dee's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011


Onco doc said yesterday he only gives chemo through a portacath(?not sure of spelling) as he believes this is easier on the body and saves looking for a new vein every time you need drugs or blood tests

He said it is inserted under a light general and stays there throughout the course of the treatment

Has anyone had experiance with this?

mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

I think you'll find that many of us here have had ports. It's easier on the veins and many doctors do recommend them. I had a very easy time with mine and had it removed a month of so after treatment ended. You'll probably get a variety of prespectives here. Good luck!


new2me's picture
Posts: 177
Joined: Jun 2010

Love my port - treatments were a snap with it - blood draws are also simple. I barely know it's there.
In my opinion - it's worth getting. :)

Good luck to ya,


dyaneb123's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

Yea, I think most of us have ports for chemo. It's just easier when you have to get lots of infusions. Then when you're done they'll take it out.

Lighthouse_7's picture
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi, I also had one. Comes highly recommended. Gives the poor veins a rest. I had some trouble with mine ( not much) but would probably do it again considering it is easier all around.
Best of luck with your decision.

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

My ports been in since Aug 25, '09 and there are no plans at this time to take it out.

I'm IBC so the odds are with the possibility of needing it again - so it's stayin in as my "lifesaver". Just have to have it flushed every 28 days which is no big deal at all.

I have great veins but the chemo stuff (some more so than others) are hard on veins and as can only use on arms veins after mast. - there was no way I was going to take a chance on 'ruining' them.

I was knocked out totally when my was inserted the day before my first A/C.


missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

but then--what a blessing it was. It made chemo, blood draws and IV antibiotics so, so much easier. I don't know if I ever got used to feeling it there right under my right collarbone--but it became better the loner I had it. I would definitely recommend one. I was under anesthesia when he put it in, but I had it taken out in the surgeon's office under local and it was a piece of cake for me.

Good luck.

Hugs, Renee

creampuff91344's picture
Posts: 989
Joined: Nov 2008

As far as I am concerned, a portacath is the only way to go. I had mine put in just prior to the first chemo, and it was done under general anethesetic (?). Because of my size, (I am small across the chest area, and not much meat there either) it was a bit uncomfortable when I laid on my right side at night. As soon as chemo was over, I had it removed about two weeks later. It was removed under local anethesetic (again ?), and I was wide awake in the doctors office. Just didn't want to "go under" again. It was simple to come out, and didn't hurt at all. I would highly recommend a port to anyone undergoing chemo. Hope this helps. Hugs, Judy

LadyParvati's picture
Posts: 328
Joined: Oct 2009

The port really did make things easier. I am so glad we did it--I can't imagine having a phlebotomist poking at my veins over & over trying to find one that would work every time I needed chemo or a blood transfusion!

I have had it out--my surgeon said that recent research has shown that leaving a port it has been associated with some sort of heart damage. I think I'll go look that up and see if I can find that research . . .

Good luck with everything!


Posts: 311
Joined: Jan 2010

I thought the port was great. And, like creampuff, mine was easy in and easy out.

beetle25's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2010

I love my port, made treatments very easy, blood draws were nice through the port also, only one stick instead of two.

Posts: 69
Joined: Jan 2011

Best thing sinced sliced bread! I had mine put in under conscious sedation. Drowsy the whole time and cannot remember the middle part where they actually put it in. Removal was done in same outpatient center. They reopened the scar and pulled it out. They only used lidocaine, promised to do the c sedation if it was bad. I felt like such a baby, it was so easy.

Using a port is fine. I hate being stuck. First time they iced it numb. Second time I didn't and it is barely a prick. I am thin, especially on chest. I too thought it was weird laying on that side at night. I kept mine after removal and it makes a lovely key fob.

My husband rounds on dialysis patients. He was so excited to hear about me using a port, he only wished his patients could have them. He too recommended immediate removal when chemo was done. Most have no problem leaving it in, and some have to. But it has to be flushed regularly and there is a chance of infection. It is a foreign item in your body. Enjoy it.

When they draw your blood, if before chemo, they hook the line up and then they tap into it for the blood. Then they untap it it is ready for the chemo. One stick.

Before I had mine put in I went online to see what it was all about. There was a wonderful older gentleman who had step by step pictures taken before, during and after. It made it so easy to understand. Unfortunately by the time I saw his site he had passed away. It was so wonderful that even after he lost his battle he was able to give so much. Although I forgot his name I will never forget the gift.

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

Personally, I'd rather take a minor chance of infection with flushes than to go through having one put in again and the much larger potential for infection there. Just me.


cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

I have very uncooperative veins and loved my Purple Power Port. It was removed just before starting rads (last month).

Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

Some have mentioned having blood draws done through the port - I've never had one done that way. Surgeon had said it could be used but the CCI I went to has a Tech that does their blood draws and they can't access the port (takes an RN or MD) so I got vein stuck. Doesn't bother me at all to do it that way.

While I was doing Chemo, they had numbing spray that worked quite good. Now for my flushes I go to the local VA clinic for them to be done and they don't have the numbing spray there so my PA gave me the generic version of EMLA cream and it works really good - can't feel anything. I did have it accessed once for a CT scan at the hospital and they didn't have any spray and it HURT - I'd have insisted on using a vein if I had known.


pinkflutterby's picture
Posts: 615
Joined: Jun 2009

purple power port here and I am also rocken an ommaya resievoir (sp) in my head. The last time I had sugery they used my power port for everything didnt get stuck once!!! I was so worried about getting the port but so so glad I did. Makes everything so much easier and less painful!!!

I've had it accessed with and without the spray its practically painless with the spray and stings a little without it. The nurse did miss it one time and that was super painful and sometimes it pinches a little when its first accessed. The ommaya access is painless believe it or not!

linpsu's picture
Posts: 747
Joined: Mar 2010

I cannot imagine doing chemo without a port. I was at chemo several times when some poor souls (without ports) were trying to get their veins accessed and I felt so sorry for them when it took so long and the nurses had to try so many different times to get into good veins. I got my port put in and taken out under light anesthesia at the outpatient surgical center associated with my surgeon's practice - no problems at all. It is important to use the special cream they give you one hour before you go to chemo to numb the site. Once I forgot and it did hurt. But as long as I used the cream, I didn't have any pain at all. You'll do great. Linda

Texasgirl10's picture
Posts: 668
Joined: Nov 2010

I have a port right now. For the first couple of days it was sore and very tender. But now, I don't really have any trouble with it. On chemo days or blood draw days, the nurse just gives me an ice pack to put on it to numb it and I really don't feel the stick. Good luck with yours.


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