Is it really necessary to flush your port every month?

Now this is an interesting question, and you will get many of different anwsers from oncologists and nurses who deal with ports everyday.  While the medical device companies have set requirements like every 30 or 90 days to keep the port functioning and free from infection, there are many in the medical field familiar with ports that tell you it really isn't necessary.  They tell you the device is internal, and infection isn't going to start in the device just because it is not flushed, do to the skin barrier.  I've also had several nurses inform me they have had patients walk in who have not had their ports flushed in years, and not only have they never had an infection, but the ports still continued to work fine.  I really am pretty sure, for most patients, in remission, you can simply not worry about having your port flushed, if you don't want take the time to do it.  No harm done-- 99.9% of the time.  I'm basing this mostly on my talks with several oncology nurses who I know well enough, that they frankly told me, (off the record) patients do not need a separate appointment to flush their ports.  I know many will disagree with me, but this is what I've been told.  I currently have not had my port flushed in 6 months now, and don't plan on it any time soon.     

Comments

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Port

    They told me every 3 weeks which was a hassle.  Glad that you are still going strong after 6 months. 

    Kim

  • airborne72
    airborne72 Member Posts: 286 Member
    edited August 2018 #3
    No Flush

    The last time I used mine was 15 December 2017.  I had it removed on 26 March 2018.  No one expressed any concern about routine flushing nor was there any evidence of infection upon removal (conducted in conjunction with an ostomy reversal).

    Jim

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    I’d go for a flush

    I say that because I’m Currently at the hospital fighting off an infection with a drainage tube from my rectum to a bag.

    Not pleasant ,  been here for a week. Second time in a month.

    Good Luck to everyone 

  • Twinzma
    Twinzma Member Posts: 236 Member
    Flushing

    I thought that flushing the port was to prevent blod clots from developing, not risk of infection. 

  • Tunadog
    Tunadog Member Posts: 235
    Twinzma said:

    Flushing

    I thought that flushing the port was to prevent blod clots from developing, not risk of infection. 

    From Wikipedia...


    Why do we flush IV lines?







    A saline flush is the method of clearing intravenous lines (IVs), Central Lines or Arterial Lines of any medicine or other perishable liquids to keep the lines (tubes) and entry area clean and sterile. ... Flushing is required before a drip is connected to ensure that the IV is still patent.




  • Helen321
    Helen321 Member Posts: 1,434 Member
    My doctor told me that not

    My doctor told me that not flushing can often cause issues with use and replacement so it's wise to do it when you have the opportunity and not to go more than 60 days.  It wasn't so much about infection as use.  I definitely didn't flush every 30 days.

  • PamRav
    PamRav Member Posts: 336 Member
    For what its worth

    i had mine flushed every  couple of months while it was not in use for the past year.

    I went to have chemo on Monday and it was blocked and couldn’t be accessed so I had 75% of my chemo given through an IV in my arm. The next day I went to interventional radiology and they spent 2 1/2 hours fixing it they had to go up through my groin and it was a bit painful but it works now and it didn’t need to be change so all‘s well that ends well.  Im home now with the 5 FU FOR 46 hr 

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    PamRav said:

    For what its worth

    i had mine flushed every  couple of months while it was not in use for the past year.

    I went to have chemo on Monday and it was blocked and couldn’t be accessed so I had 75% of my chemo given through an IV in my arm. The next day I went to interventional radiology and they spent 2 1/2 hours fixing it they had to go up through my groin and it was a bit painful but it works now and it didn’t need to be change so all‘s well that ends well.  Im home now with the 5 FU FOR 46 hr 

    I really hope that doesn't

    I really hope that doesn't happen to me. My oncologist told me I didn't need to get it flushed. I looked at your profile. Did something happen that isn't on the page? Why are you back at chemo? I do believe we have discussed this before but I have been so foggy since finding out a recurrence and being told can't be removed with surgery. I am also desparate for hope to be around for a while, a long while

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,206 Member
    didn't flush mine for several

    didn't flush mine for several years, they removed it at the last surgery. No issues...............................................Dave

  • PamRav
    PamRav Member Posts: 336 Member
    edited September 2018 #11
    abita said:

    I really hope that doesn't

    I really hope that doesn't happen to me. My oncologist told me I didn't need to get it flushed. I looked at your profile. Did something happen that isn't on the page? Why are you back at chemo? I do believe we have discussed this before but I have been so foggy since finding out a recurrence and being told can't be removed with surgery. I am also desparate for hope to be around for a while, a long while

    Hi abita

    ive been following your story.  Wishing you a good cure.  I havent updated my profile but will do so soon

    my scan this past  May showed a questionable lesion near a previously abated area.  After much discussion witn oncologist, liver surgeon and a telephone call to SLK it was decided to watch and wait , rescan in 3 months.    My august scan showed the liver as stable current lesion unchanged but new disease was dicovered in my lung and chest lymph nodes.  So im back on chemo. 

    peace and healing to you  

    pam 

     

  • abita
    abita Member Posts: 1,109 Member
    PamRav said:

    Hi abita

    ive been following your story.  Wishing you a good cure.  I havent updated my profile but will do so soon

    my scan this past  May showed a questionable lesion near a previously abated area.  After much discussion witn oncologist, liver surgeon and a telephone call to SLK it was decided to watch and wait , rescan in 3 months.    My august scan showed the liver as stable current lesion unchanged but new disease was dicovered in my lung and chest lymph nodes.  So im back on chemo. 

    peace and healing to you  

    pam 

     

    I am sorry to hear that. Yeah

    I am sorry to hear that. Yeah, I guess we will be going through at the same time. 

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member

    didn't flush mine for several

    didn't flush mine for several years, they removed it at the last surgery. No issues...............................................Dave

    Wow

    I'm really surprised.  You must have a good port because mine they wanted to flush every month.  Glad you didn't have any issues.  Maybe they have changed that policy since mine has been removed.

    Kim

  • JanJan63
    JanJan63 Member Posts: 2,478
    Mine would get clogged if I

    Mine would get clogged if I didn't. I remember having to march up and down the hallway in front of pwople witng for their chemo to try to clear it out after couching and all kinds of other attempts. They ended up running somehting through it to clear it out and that worked.

    Jan

  • beaumontdave
    beaumontdave Member Posts: 1,206 Member

    Wow

    I'm really surprised.  You must have a good port because mine they wanted to flush every month.  Glad you didn't have any issues.  Maybe they have changed that policy since mine has been removed.

    Kim

    After the chemo, they had me

    After the chemo, they had me on a three month scan/test schedule. With the recurrances, that wound up being an eight year pattern, and I wasn't going to spend a chunk of a day inbetween appts. getting the flush. It was also the fact that my onc./surgeon expressed the idea that they'd taken their best shot with the chemo, and still had it pop back up, so surgery or the other stuff like ablation were going to be the options anyway. Had I needed it for palliative treatment, they would have likely changed it out. It did clog early on once, and they had to use the 'snake" through a groin vein and run it up to strip the tip of the catheter. I was fairly alert for this one and the tugging was a very strange feeling, lol.......................................Dave