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Portacath placement was very easy

Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

I just had a portacath placed today, and I cannot believe how easy it was to have it done!  I was a little bit worried about it, had been considering toughing it out with IV chemo, but my oncologist really encouraged the portacath to prevent extravasation (leakage into surrounding tissue) of the chemo, so I went ahead and did it.

Outpatient procedure, with a little bit of versed and fentanyl.  I also asked them to buffer the lidocaine with sodium bicarb, so it wouldn't sting so badly.  I was awake the whole time, it didn't hurt at all, and it was over very quickly.

It's not painful 4 hrs after placement.  I'm glad I had it done.  For any future readers, it's really a very minor and quick outpatient procedure, nothing to be worried about.

Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

Mine was called a mediport, but it was so much easier than having a new IV for each infusion. Chemo drugs are so caustic that having them go into a larger vein makes so much sense. I did find it a bit freaky having three people working on me in different places at the same time when I was awake for the procedure. Made me kind of jumpy.

Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

Update on port placement.  It was tender for about a week - couldn't sleep on the port side for a few nights - but after a week, a lot of the time I forget it's in there.  First time they will use it will be this Friday when I have my first round of chemo.

abrub's picture
Posts: 2178
Joined: Mar 2010

It's a prescription numbing cream that you gob over your port about an hour before chemo.  Cover with plastic wrap or a tegaderm.  The nurse will wipe it off. Then you won't feel the needle go in.  Emla is worth its weight in gold.

LadyMox's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2018

For some reason I am scared of the idea of the port, though they haven't offered it yet either. Right now I'm only getting chemo every three weeks so I'm willing to endure the pokings. 

Posts: 1575
Joined: Jun 2012

about the port before I got it but loved it afterwards. I never gave it a name but felt very affectionate toward it. 

cmb's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018

I'm normally not interested in actually looking at the medical procedures being performed on me, But I was disappointed when I was asked to keep my head facing left while the doctor installed the port on my right side. There were several large monitors that he used to see what was going on inside me and position the port. I would have liked to watch the process too.

I was awake during the whole procedure, but felt no pain or anxiety (the drugs worked!). The port area was a bit sore for a couple of days and it took me some time to get used to it if I laid on that side at night, But after a while I got used to it and appreciated having it during my chemo sessions.

I was later told by the nurse in recovery that I had the "speedy" doctor who does fast, accurate work. The process did go much faster than I expected.

CheeseQueen57's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I love my port. Not only was it convenient during chemo but they use it any time I have blood drawn or contrast for any test. When I’ve gone to the ER they’ve also used it and when I’ve been hospitalized. I‘ve had mine 2 years. Today when I had blood drawn the nurse said she knows patients who have had their ports for 20 years. Not only would I be thrilled to even live 20 more years but I’ll keep my port if I can. 

Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2009

I also had a central venous access device (Port-a-Cath) implanted and had it in for a year without problems like occlusion or clot development at the tip is the silacone catheter or the titanium portal with a silacone septum which is the part that the special Port-a-Cath non- coring needle is inserted. This vascular access device was so important in avoiding chemo leaking into my tissue if a peripherally inserted IV catheter lost its patency. Chemo is so toxic to one’s peripheral veins. Once your veins are scarred or damaged by chemo they won’t ever be the same. Highly recommend Port-a-Cath or some other central blood stream implanted access device. Plus the nurses and doctors have a much easier time administering drugs and taking blood for lab tests. 

EZLiving66's picture
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

My doctor put me under for port installation and they used it the next day for my chemo. But that was the only time it could be used. It got horribly infected and they couldn't clear it up. Finally after two months of trying, they took it out. By that time, the skin around it was also degraded so they couldn't stitch the skin back together. After a month of them trying to clear up the hole, they sent me to the wound care clinic. Seven weeks later, they chemically cauterized it. I have a lot of scar tissue there and am thinking of going to a plastic surgeon to cut out the scar. The scar tissue also hurts if I sleep a certain way so I'm thinking my insurance would pay to have it removed. I usually just wear a tank top backward under some of my lower cut blouses to cover it. If it didn't hurt, I wouldn't care.

But....I'm like one in a thousand who ever had trouble with their port. Most women love them! Having chemo the second and third time in the same vein was no picnic and I wish the port would have worked.



Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

I was the one who brought up inserting a port well ahead of time, because I wanted it to heal in before they started chemo.   Otherwise, I think they would have just tried peripheral veins, and after there was a problem with that, they would have recommended the port.  And once I was in the middle of chemo, I doubt it would have healed.

Going to start tomorrow.  I'm definitely taking Ativan before I leave the house, to try to stay calm.  I tried out frozen pea bags, but I didn't feel as if it got my hands cold enough, and uniformly enough.  So we're going with ice in the plastic boxes the size of shoes, and in zip loc bags for the hands.

CheeseQueen57's picture
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

I‘m convinced that acupuncture kept my neuropathy to a minimum, just a little numbness in my little toes. My arthritic hands would definitely not been able to take the ice. 

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