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Question about Power Port removal and replacement

lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

For the last few chemo treatments I 've sometimes needed an injection of  Alteplase to unclot my  PowerPort catheter.  the port hasn't worked for withdrawing blood but  they have  been able, after the unclotting med works, to go ahead with the infusion. Yesterday was different. When they began the infusion it caused a nasty pain in my right arm and shoulder  that traveled up my neck (the port is on the left side). Concerned, they stopped the infusion and sent me down to radiology for a  fluoroscopy with contrast. The fluoroscopy showed a complete  occlusion due to a fibrin sheaf, so  I  was unable to  get chemotherapy yesterday. The plan is to  remove the  port and catheter and replace them. I'm waiting  now to hear to hear when the surgeon can schedule the procedure (Fridays are not good days to have things go wrong :-) since so many  clinics  seem to close at noon).    My question, for those of you who might have had this done, is  do they  put the replacement port  in  roughly the same place as the old one?  I am very thin and bony and my port has always stuck out a mile and any pressure on it  is quite uncomfortabe. Wearing a seat belt is a very unpleasant experience, even with   a padded cover. Since the port is on the left side,  I haven't  driven for quite a while and my husband had become my driver. So I'm wondering  about requesting that the surgeon put the new port on the opposite side.  Does anyone know if this is feasible, or is there a particular reason for placing it on one side rather than another?


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5175
Joined: Jan 2013

but I can say how sorry I am that you have this added problem. Its bad enough having Cancer and having Chemo without adding other problems on top. 

I know the port can be placed in differing areas, and I think (but don't know 100%) that a friend of mine in England has it on his right side.  I'm sure someone else here can tell you for sure. 

Having Chemo cancelled is a huge downer. Even though it means you might be in your 'good days' a little longer, it also means putting the date back for when its over. Yeah, I had my chemo cancelled three times, and it stunk. 



nateswife's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2016

Hi Grace, 

Sorry to hear that you have this port complication- that's frustrating. My port is on my right side. So far it hasn't given me any trouble. It gets a little sensitive after having the 5Fu pump on for 2 days. The seatbelt doesn't irritate it. 

I hope that you can get a new port soon and that it works better than the previous one!

lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

I've had this port in for 17 months now; it's survived a lot of chemo treatments, scans, blood tests and such  so I can't complain too much, although it would have been nice for it to have held out a while longer. I have no idea how much more chemo  I'll get, right now  I'm on a clean-up regimen I think, after the ablation, and  then will probably get maintenance chemo, so it could be a long haul. 

I  noticed that almost everyone in the infusion room also seem to have the port on the left.  I wondered if it had anythng to do with  most people being right handed and there would be less movement on the left side.  If that's the case, maybe mine should be on the right side, since I'm left handed. I'll have to ask the surgeon why next time I see him, which I hope will be very soon so we can move on.

  Thanks for the kind words.


JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Mine was on my right side. I never thought to wonder why, I just asumed that's where it went. I hated mine. I'd cringe every time someone gave me a hug and it was so sensitive. When it started coming out through my skin they took it out.

Good luck!


harleywiz's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Aug 2014

i just had my 3rd port put in the 1st got the fiber sheft and they could not unclog it so i told them to put a new on in was put in the same place in the right shoulder year or so later the 2nd got cloged to i said replace it again this time surgon decied to put on left side to see if it makes a diffrence i dont see why this would change anything as the tube still goes down towards the heart just the input part is moved to the other shoulder i also had pain afther port a gram it was backing up and leaking in the shoulder that caused pain

Posts: 172
Joined: Aug 2015

My husband's port is on the left side, however he has a double port.  He does say that there are a good many folks that have port on the right side.

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