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Port removal

RossMichael
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2017

Has anybody had their port removed in the surgeons office same day/time as your pre op visit?

The reason I'm asking is because when I was contacted by the surgeons office to schedule to have my port removed, the receptionist stated that he needs to see me prior to surgery (seems reasonable) or he might just do it right there. I was completely sedated to have it put in so i'm guessing it would require a procedure a little more complicated than just doing it in his office, no?

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 828
Joined: Mar 2013

RossMichael, I had neither a pre-op nor post-op visit with the surgeon. I walked in, had local anesthesia and the port was removed within 30 minutes. Much, much simpler than having it placed. I walked out of the office after after the procedure and drove myself home. 

Congratulations for making it to the point you no longer need the port. I was so happy to get that thing out of me!

Cheers,

Rocquie

 

RossMichael
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2017

Thanks for the info! I'm going in a few hours to meet with the surgeon and see what he says. Hopefully the take this thing out today!!

Thank you again,

Ross

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2015

My question of the day...How does one know when it’s time for the port to be removed?  One part of me wants to keep it for along, long time and the other part of me wants it removed before my sons wedding in August. 

I am so grateful that I had the port to begin with. My veins are tiny and I don’t like the idea of a pikk line. 

I’m in remission and have been for about 16 months. ( SCT sept 2016) I know things can change in a heart beat And 16 months doesn’t sound like a long time.

How long did everyone wait?  I’m assuming it can it be put back in if need be? 

Sharon

 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 828
Joined: Mar 2013

Sharon, my doctor believes in port removal as soon as treatment is finished. His thinking is that it is a foreign object in the body. Also, it saves the hassle of getting a monthly port flush, which he also believes in. But not all physicians think the same way.

My first port became horribly infected and had to be removed. I was in the hospital, septic, for over two weeks. I never had any problems with my second port but I was very protective of it and paranoid the entire time it was there. I never allowed it to be used for anything except my treatments. And it was one happy day when I could carry it in my hand rather than wearing inside my chest.

I've had two ports, so yes I'm sure a third can be placed if necessary.

Hugs,

Rocquie

 

 

 

philr828
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2017

first of all I love your smile! After 16 months in remission, they still have not taken your port out? I know I am on my 3rd treatment and have 3 more and I just assumed if you were free of cancer after a few months of your last treatment that they would take your port out! Congrats with your months of remission and I hope you have years of remission. Sincerely, Phil

 

 

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2015

Thank you Phil,  that smile was on an airplane on the first leg of my Sicily trip.  Believe me, by the time I got home 16 days later it wasn’t that pretty! I did have a good time though! 

I have small, thin, hard to find veins and the port is easy.   My oncologist just keeps saying, let’s just wait...one part of me is just waiting for another relapse, the other part says “ take it out and if need be, put it back in”  

yesyes2
Posts: 581
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Sharon,  

I finished treatment for my NHL in 2010, port was placed in November 2009.  As I also have RA and very bad veins plus lymphodema in all limbs I still have my port.  All my Rituxin treatments for the RA and all blood draws are through the port.  I have it faithfully flushed every 4 weeks.  The doctor who placed the port thinks it will be good for ten years.  Lets hope so as it looks like I might be going back to some type of treatment as my bone marrow is producing too many blood cells now.  Currently having tests to see what might be going on.

I do have concerns about what removal of a port in place for that length of time might be like.

Leslie

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3207
Joined: May 2012

Sharon my understanding is the same as all that Roc and yesyes posted.

I think the best general guideline a doctor uses in deciding when to remove a port is liklihood of rapid relapse.  If rapid relapse is probable (based upon the patient's disease, staging, how rapidly their treatments worked, and other predictive factors) the tendency is to leave the port in.  If highly unlikely, remove it soon after chemo ends (unless maintenance therapy on Rituxan or other maintenance drug is planned).

A neighbor next door to where I used to live got aggressive NHL a year before I was diagnosed with advanced, but indolent, HL.  Our oncologists worked in the same cancer facility; in fact, their closet-sized work offices were next to one another, leading out to the same nurse's station.   My neighbor's doc had him keep his port in for over two years after achieving NED.  My doctor had mine removed as soon as my final NED PET report was in hand.   So thinking differs, despite general patters or lines of reasoning.

But reinstalling a port is a simple, easy thing to do if it ever becomes necessary.  Usually, if a second port is needed later, it will go on the other side of the chest, but not always.  Side of chest is medically irrelevant; my surgeon told me "pick a side" before installation.

max

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 123
Joined: Sep 2015

I know I am high risk, which is probably why my oncologist keeps saying “let’s just wait another three months“

If I relapse again and can have the port put back in then why not have it removed for now?  Still thinking! 

PBL
Posts: 177
Joined: Jul 2016

Hi all,

Even though I was very appreciative of the comfort it gave me while undergoing chemotherapy, it took me about a year to accept the presence of my port under my right collarbone; I feel that perhaps this was due to the surgery being a rather unpleasant experience.

Even though I am now in remission, I have no intention of having it removed at this point, for several reasons:

- Follicular Lymphoma is prone to repeated recurrence;

- On MRI, my bone lesions still had not significantly reduced in size twelve months post-chemo;

- My interim PET scan report (after 4 R-CHOP) was "very good partial response", and after completion, "Deauville 3", meaning that the uptake was slightly below that of my liver;

- putting the port in was quite long (1hr 10 min) and rather painful as it would seem I was insufficiently numbed before the surgeon started unsuccessfully and repeatedly foraging into my cephalic vein before giving up due to small vein diameter and going for the internal jugular;

- I have heard several of my "cancer mates" tell stories of even more painful port removal surgeries;

- I tend to get thick, purple, ugly scars that do not improve over time, and therefore, I would rather avoid getting another one on the other side in the event of a  recurrence.

Needless to say, my hematologist has never tried to nudge me back under the surgeon's knife, as he is quite prudent when it comes to what the future holds. His attitude for the time being is "as long as those lesions do not increase in size, we're happy".

So, as long as that port doesn't cause any trouble, it's staying right where it is!

PBL

 

RossMichael
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2017

The surgeon removed mine on friday in his office and like other have stated it only took about 10-15 minutes to do. Just a little sore afterwards but glad it's gone!

I questioned the timeframe of removal myself and he explained that it's primarily based on the type of treatment and what the diagnosis was. Most importantly tho he said they worry about infection and do not want to risk it when if needed it could be done in a few hours surgery again.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3207
Joined: May 2012

Sal, Ross, PBL,

I agree again with what everyone has said.  My port install and removal was uneventful, almost an irrelevance, but that may have been luck more than anything.  While in place, my port never bothered me or occupied my attention.

Like PBL, I somewhat wanted to KEEP my port, but the oncologist instantly said, "Nonesense ! I have already scheduled you to meet the surgeon."  In retrospect 7 years later, he was correct.

Somewhat random but still relevant to the discussion:  1. I have known people who went months between flushes after ending therapy, with no issues. I do not recommend this, but it suggests that missing a flush is usually not a big deal. 2. My port incision now hurts occasionally, especially in the cold.  It is age related, and comes from the scar tissue no doubt.  My incision is recessed somehat, sort of "caved in."  Since I was a sailor, I tell people who notice it that it is my "port hole."

max

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 624
Joined: Mar 2015

When I saw my oncologist in Jan she asked my if I was ok leaving it in for another year or two. My last chemo was Oct 2015 and my last Rtiuxan was Oct 2017. I told her I was fine with keeping it. Especially since the viens in my left arm can't be used. (Collapsed shortly before getting the port.) The port flushing does bother me a little. I thought it needed to be done every 6 - 8 weeks. I will be seeing my oncologist every 3 months and getting the flush then. I often forget it is even there. 

Nellie4579's picture
Nellie4579
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2017

My last treatment will be Febuary 20th. Ny Oncologist wants to leave my port in for a year but said if i'm uncomfortable with that it can be removed as it is my body.

I may have it removed after my PET scan in April once i'm sure i am in remission. I find it slightly uncomfortable and worry about infection plus the hassle of monthly flushing.

 

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