Integrated Cancer Care
Panorama Centre For Surgical Oncology
Sential Vode Biopsy
What is an implanted port?
An implanted port (also called a “chemo port” or “a-port ”) is a device implanted under your skin acting as an injection site with a thin catheter permanently located in a large central vein behind the collar bone. It can be used to infuse any liquids directly into your vein as part of your treatment (called intravenous or IV therapy).
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Why do I need to have a port inserted?
We might recommend a port when:
- you need IV treatment many times over 6 months or longer.
- you have small veins and need multiple attempts to get an IV in.
- treatment can only be give through a large central vein.
Your port may be used to give:
- medicines, like chemotherapy and antibiotics
- blood transfusions
- IV nutrient (food), also called Parenteral Nutrition
The ports we use can also be used for high speed injection while having a CT scan or MRI test. These ports are called “powerinjectable ports”.
How long can I have my port?
Your port can stay in for the whole time you require IV treatment, and as long as it is working well and shows no signs of complications. We can remove your port when you don’t need it anymore. Some of our patients have had the same port for many years without problems.
What to expect.
The port is usually placed under your skin about 2 to 3cm
below your collar bone. You may feel a round bump
under your skin where the port is.
The port has a central softer part called the septum or access site which is made from a self-sealing rubber that holds the port needle safely in place during
treatment and avoids leaking.
Your port is connected to a thin flexible tube called a catheter. The end of the catheter sits in a large blood vessel leading to your heart. When you need IV therapy or blood sample, your nurse will insert a special needle through the skin into the port septum. This is called “accessing the port”. This needle allows fluid or medicine to flow from your port through the catheter and into your bloodstream.
How do I take care of my port?
After placement and discharge, take it slow at home. You can eat and drink normally.
Check your bandage for bleeding. A small amount of blood on the dressing is normal, but the dressing pad should not become soaked. If bleeding seems excessive, contact us at PACSO or your oncologist or go to the nearest emergency department where they will contact us.
Your dressing a watertight and you may wash or shower but do not soak the dressing.
You may feel sore and swollen around the area where the port was put in for 2-3 days after the procedure. The area may also be bruised, which can take longer to go away.
Avoid bumping or putting excess pressure on the incision areas, for the first 2-3 days.
Avoid lifting anything heavier than 4-5 kilograms and doing vigorous exercise for the first week after your port is put in place. Activities like running, aerobics and heavy manual labour. You can return to your normal activities once your incision is healed (usually after 1 week).
The dressing may be removed after 5 days and the wound may be left open to air. You don’t need to cover the area when you shower or when the port is not being used. Gentle washing over the incision with soap and water is advised but do not scrub it.
The stitches on the incision site is underneath the skin and will dissolve on their own.
You can bathe or swim when the incision has completely healed (usually
this takes about 10-14 days).
Panorama Centre for Surgical Oncology