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Tell me about port removal, please

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I'm having my port-o-cath removed next Thursday because it's coming through the skin where the bumps are. Two bumps are already exposed and it hurts and it needs to come out. Anyway, how rough is it to have one removed. One woman at the cancer centre said when they take the tube that goes up the vein out it feels horrible. I had a bad experience when they put it in because they hit a nerve and the pain was excrutiating for a few days after and I'm scared to get it out.

If you've had yours out or know someone that did can you reassure me or is it nasty? Thank you!

Jan

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1166
Joined: Aug 2013

 

Had mine taken out during my last liver resection, but I was told it's an easy outpatient thing, much simpler than installation. Good luck with it, it feels good not to have the bump anymore.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

I was petrified. I had it scheduled in office so knew I was going to have a local.  

Needles, how I hate them. 

Well, the needles were so small I couldn't feel them. The area was numbed up and I didn't feel a thing. I was in and out in no time  

I went away a happy person. 

good luck. All will be well. 

Sue - Ed

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mar 2010

I had mine out with just local, and it was easy. A bit sore after, but no big deal. 

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2013

I also had pain when it was put in.  They must have hit a nerve and I had to be on pain killers for 2 days - and could barely move my neck and mouth.

Having it removed - with a local - was a breeze.  The only thing was that it took a bit as the surgeon had difficulty getting to the sutures - so he had to dig a lot.  Got a lot of lidocaine.  No pain afterwards!  Yay!

 

I hope your removal goes as smoothly.

 

J

zx10guy
Posts: 274
Joined: Dec 2013

It's interesting everyone has had theirs put and removed via local.  I had first procedure to place my port via general anesthesia.  My surgeon wasn't able to get the port in for what ever reason.  So the second attempt was done via "twilight" anesthesia by the radiology team with the help of ultrasound.  I don't remember which anesthesia I was placed under when they removed my port.  I think it was general.  Not sure why my medical team has chosen this path.  But with all the procedures, I was sent home after the procedure was done.

John212's picture
John212
Posts: 116
Joined: Jan 2015

I had my port removed in February of this year and it was done in the surgeon's office under a local. After his first couple of actions I asked him to give me a second hit of the anesthetic but after that I could only feel general sensations of being tugged and pulled a bit as he worked his way around the port cutting the sutures that kept it sewn to my chest muscles. I think it took him about 15 minutes altogether. We spent almost as much time talking about rock music in operating rooms after he finished as he had taken for the removal.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you so much for the reassurances everyone. I've become quite a baby about things being done to me. I'll sure be glad to have it out. Having something that seems like it's already infected that goes into my vein is scary. I didn't realize it was sutured down. Once they hit the nerve and my heart went crazy and they called in a heart doctor right away that was all I could focus on. And, yes, I had a local for the insertion and it's a local for the removal.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

I didn't have a local for the placement, but it wasn't a general either. I had propofol (think Micheal Jackson), which knocks you out without being as dangerous as general anesthetic.

Insertion is allot more complicated than removal, and that is why they can remove it in the office. Its a sterile procedure where you are awake. 

Saying that, my friend got put out for her removal, because she requested it. 

Sue - Trubrit

sflgirl
Posts: 220
Joined: Jan 2015

Instead of getting tougher by going through all this I'm getting to be quite a baby too.  You hang in there and congrats on getting the port out.  Can't wait to get the constant reminder out.

Best,

Andrea

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 544
Joined: Jul 2012

I had mine taken out last fall...in my surgeon's office.  It really didn't hurt much...mine was rather buried in there, so they had to give me some additional numbing medicine.  I guess the worst part of it was the bit of tugging and pulling on it to get it out...but really, it was not too bad. 

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mar 2010

I also had a belly port (for intraperitoneal chemo) which was removed in the surgeon's office "Procedure Room" under local.  I talked with him throughout the procedure, felt nothing, and enjoyed his comments: "Boy, I really sutured that one in!  It wasn't going to move!"

 

alabama_survivor
Posts: 85
Joined: Nov 2014

I'm from the BC board.  Mine was put in under a general anesthesia, and was removed when I had my mastectomy.  I found it interesting that he removed it through the mastectomy incision rather than going through the original port scar.  I'm one that is a baby, which is interesting since I have a high threshhold for pain.  I would always rather be sedated.  It doesn't seem like anything should bother me after chemo and radiation (I was one that developed raw, weepy sores and had one place get infected), but that wasn't the case.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1428
Joined: May 2012

Sloan won't do it while you are awake so mine was very easy.  It just hurt for a few days but not cancer hurt, more like stubbed my toe hard hurt.  The nerve thing isn't very fun.  I hope they are much better taking it out than putting it in.  

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Hitting the nerve made it feel like I had a hot iron on my chest and into my neck and shoulder for a few days. The pain was terrible. I called them the next day and they said to take Tylenol. I wasn't happy that they didn't tell me ahead of time that it might hurt that much and give me an Rx for a good painkiller. I'll be glad to have it out. It sticks out ad makes me scared every time someone tries to hug me because they often press on it and make it hurt. I have it covered all the time with a bandage now because of it being open but I usually did before, too, just for protection.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2175
Joined: Mar 2010

Actually, mine was removed at Sloan under local.  The dr doing it wanted an IV line in for sedation, but I couldn't tolerate the IV - my veins were in such pain that when the nurse saw me sitting in tears of pain waiting for the procedure, she spoke to the dr and they removed the IV.  The Oxaliplatin left me with highly sensitive veins; even a normal blood draw was extremely painful for about a year - not the needle stick, but the actual embedded line for drawing blood.  For my port removal,  I just had local and was fine.  Of note, the drs who placed my ports had no problem doing that under local, and the dr who removed my belly port did that under local as well.  No problems at all.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

:)

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

Good to hear, put me out and take it out when the time comes :) (I am at Sloan)  They put it in without general, but the twilight zone stuff.  There was times I was talking during the procedure and cracking jokes.  And I asked for Pink Floyd in recovery, thought it was appropriate.  And they found it for me.  

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
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Joined: Sep 2014

Good for you NewHere! Two more days and I get mine out.

NewHere's picture
NewHere
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Joined: Feb 2015

Go get 'em.   Has to feel like you crossed a real milestone.

My Onc said he will take it out rather quickly after my chemo is done.  

If I knew how Trubrit does her dancing man, I would post one for you.

danker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

It is almost 5 yrs since I had my port removed,so I just don't remember what it was like.  It was done in the hospital though.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Darn, NewHere, I want some dancing men. Well, the big day is tomorrow. I can't believe I'm so worried about it. The dang thing has worked itself partly out anyway so how hard could it be? I'm just so sensitive about any procedures now. I think having the drains installed when I got abcesses after my surgery really made me scared of hospitals and doctors. I never thought in this day and age anyone could be expected to go through so much pain. Same with packing my incision that opened up. Unbelievable pain.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

Do you want a Dancing Man today, or tomorrow after the porcedure? 

You're wish is my command. 

Sue - Trubrit

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

She is here as I would guess.  :)

I am still working on the naked people dancing things.  (Hope you saw that in the other thread :) )   It was herdizziness idea.  Long story.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing your port is out post in the near future.  

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

Mine was local and that is not really what I'd planned on but it was what they planned on - yikes.  It was so easy because they numbed the area really well, whereas with the insertion they did the twilight and it didn't take so therefore everything was hurting and they weren't sympathic either because they didn't want to deal with a "baby" as the doctor called me because I'd told him of the pain.  Go local and you can go home faster too.  Hope everything goes well tomorrow.

Kim

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

 ...because they didn't want to deal with a "baby" as the doctor called me because  I'd told him of the pain.

That makes me mad!

How dare he say that to you!

I would have told him exactly what I thought of his comment. Yeah, Cancer has made me bold. Of course, I would have told him after he had removed it. HA!

I want to hug you, Kim. You are not a baby. 

Edited to add: My husband said that he hopes you told EVERYONE you talk to NEVER to go to this Doctor/Surgeon. 

Stupid Doctor!!

Sue - Trubrit

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

And add my New Yorker tyoe words to it.  How dare someone say that to you.  Screw them.  There is absolutely no reason that if anything can make a patient more comfortable during all this that it should not be done, other than a medical reason.  (For instance, when I had a port, they told me they prefer the twilight and general numbing as compared to general because no intubation and the rest and the patients are comfortable this way also)

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 588
Joined: May 2013

survivors are never babies. In fact, I can't think of anything that makes you grow up faster. Screw that doctor.

Easyflip/Richard

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Kim, that's HORRIBLE. I'm so sorry you had such a negative experience.

I'm posting just to follow up on how it went in case it's helpful to anyone. Procedure went great. I couldn't even tell when he slid the line out. He had a bit of a tough time getting it out and was quite taken aback when he saw how far it had already come out through the skin. Normally he'd have taken it out through the previous scar so it's not as noticable after but he had to make a new spot as my scar was right across the surface of the port and they have to go below it. It hurt last night once all the freezing came out but not enough to take painkillers and I was able to sleep okay. Today it feels pretty good. It does hurt a bit if I use my arms and probably the muscles in my chest but it's very slight and doesn't last.

Really, not bad at all. I was awake and talking through the whole thing.

Jan

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5489
Joined: Jan 2013

  and because it wasn't as bad as you were anticipating, here is Mr. Spinning Man for good measure .

Don't overdo it now. Even when it feels like its fine, you're proably still healing. 

Sue - Trubrit

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1340
Joined: Feb 2015

In my best Austin Powers voice - YEAH BAAAAAYBEEEEEE

Love to hear that it is all good.   

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

Glad that everything went well as mine was exceptional coming out.  Thanks everyone for your comments about the doctor telling me about my reaction to the "crybaby" part.  Yes I'd expressed much to my oncologist about not ever having him perform any procedure on me again and to make a note in my file about his remarks.  Once again glad that all went well.

Kim

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