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PORT PLACEMENT - Detailed description of process

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  • GEECH
    GEECH Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2009

    Bertie,

    I was told that if you had lymph nodes taken out on the right side which I did you cannot have the port put in that side.   I see bs tomorrow and I am going to ask her if its possible could she do it without putting me out.  The chemo nurse told me recently that they don't recommend Emla cream anymore because if the needle moves you won't feel it. It worked great for me the last time I had a port.  I don't know if that is only in this office.  The chemo nurses where I go make everyone get a port.Ask you onc and see what they say.

    Take care,

    Geech

  • Bethie1
    Bethie1 Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2009

    I had my port put on the left side after a right mastectomy with lymph nodes removed.  Ask the doc just to be sure, but seeing what was done in my case, I just assumed port goes on opposite side of surgical procedure.

  • Lena
    Lena Member Posts: 132
    edited March 2009
    Just got home a little while ago from getting with what seems to be a Power Port. I wasn't expecting a Power Port (which I'd never even heard of until reading about them in the last few days here at this forum), just a "regular" port-a-cath. But when the recovery room nurse gave me "stuff" to take home, well it all says Power Port on it and includes a Power Port ID card as well as "key ring" which is also a card. Anyway, I have to say my transformation from human to Jem'Hadar (that's what I call it, more later) went just about totally "perfect."  That is, no complications whatsoever, and almost no pain either. 

    My installation was done (THANK GOODNESS!) under general anesthesia. I am a total and complete sissy with exquisitely oversensitive pain receptors and do not EVER want to have ANY kind of surgery, no matter how "minor," under a local! Quite frankly,for me, locals are absolutely useless! I couldn't even be core needle biopsied under a local because getting the needle with the local for interior anesthesia into my cancerous breast, even with the exterior skin local having been administered, hurt like such  f***ing hell I was crying like a baby and the doc had to stop and recommend I have an actual surgical biopsy under a general instead -- FINE WITH ME! now why didn't they do that in the first place when they KNEW from my mammos and ultrasounds I had a ginormous mass in my breast? GRRRR! But, I digress...back to my port...

    Most of what tbird described in her initial post applied to me too, that is, I went through hospital admission, some testing (BP, temp, blood -- ouch I hate needles -- and urine), then they took me to a hospital room (with a bed) where I undressed/changed into a hospital gown, etc. But then I had a long wait (made tolerable by the fact that I had brains enough to bring my iBook so I could play my sims until time to go to the OR -- two hours!). 

    Finally they wheeled me off to the OR "holding area," and eventually the anesthesiologist came by, talked to me and set up my IV. Then my surgeon came, had me sign a consent form, confirmed where the port was going in (left side upper chest) -- I had a laugh with him, it HAS to go there because it's my RIGHT breast which is cancerous and will eventually be removed)... and then I was wheeled into the OR proper. Also, as happened with tbird, I had to move myself on to the operating table. On the table, I was awake and lucid for several minutes so it seemed, I remember someone swabbing/cleaning/disinfecting the area where my port was to be installed. Then, the anesthesiologist said to me, "I'm putting some medication into your IV to help you relax now." I asked what, she said "It's like valium." I thanked her, was soon woozy and probably mumbling something weird about becoming a Jem'Hadar (LOL -- but weird amuses me, and that's my only way of getting through any of this!)...and the next thing I know....

    I wake up in the recovery room. I feel no pain whatsoever, and I'm completely lucid. In fact, I feel ready to get dressed, call the taxi and go home! However, they won't let me! The recovery room nurse said I had to "stabilize" first, eat and drink something, and then use the bathroom (urinate). I did persuade her to get my stuff though -- I absolutely HAD to have my glasses back since I cannot see anything past my frickin' NOSE without them. So I "stabilized" with my glasses, and also my iBook (they brought all my stuff back even though I couldn't get dressed yet). I think it was 20 mins or half an hour when they asked me what I'd like to drink. COFFEE of course! I missed my morning coffee, not being allowed to have any this morning because of the surgery. They brought me a nice cup of coffee and a turkey sandwich. Eating and drinking went fine, I used the bathroom. No problems at all, so I was allowed to leave. I was sent home with the port stuff, some other paperwork, and a prescription for pain med "just in case."

    I was feeling so well, I "instinctively" tossed my iBook bag over my left shoulder while waiting for the taxi. Ooops! Not a good move. It didn't hurt exactly...well it did but it was more like a vague soreness, not actual pain. Since the pain med prescription was for the same stuff they gave me after the biopsy 1/30 and I hadn't taken all or even most of that, I decided I could use that tonight if I need it, so I came straight home. I'll fill the script tomorrow (I have to establish a "relationship" with this pharmacy -- I doubt I actually need more pain pills than the ones I have, but I'll fill the new one anyway because this pharmacy delivers, which could be crucial once I'm on chemo and pobably too sick and weak to go there to get anything!)...tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer out, going for a walk might actually be a good thing.

    Anyhoo, so I get home a little sore, and remember my chemo nurse's post-port instructions. She had said for the first 24 hours after it was in, every two hours I should hold a bag of frozen corn or peas on the area for 20 mins to preefnt swelling. OK. So first 5 mins home, in order: (1) Turn on coffee pot I had left "prepped" for my return (one cup was not enough LOL). (2) Take the Caltrate tablet I couldn't take this morning, (3) Take a pain pill to see if it'll help with the soreness. (4) Start my first 20 minutes with my bag of frozen corn. 

    By THIS point, I've now done my second "corn treatment." I had to interrupt writing my post because I can't type with only one hand, and I needed one hand for the corn LOL. I type slow anyway because  my left hand is partially paralyzed, and, this forum takes "input" even slower than my "incompetence" is capable of.

    But, I'm basically feeling OK. Funny, the pain pill I took when I got home (codeine tylenol) actually did help the soreness, but when I put the corn on for the second time, it got sore again! Ah well, in 45 mins I can take another pain pill, and it's not so bad really, just annoying. I bet I won't need the pain pills at all by tomorrow.

    And now, for those of you who don't know about the Jem'Hadar....The Jem'Hadar are genetically engineered Dominion soldiers from the Gamma Quadrant of our galaxy. In order to ensure their loyalty, the Founders of the Dominion deliberately engineered the Jem'Hadar with an inability to metabolize a vital enzyme, rendering them addicted to a drug called ketrocel white, which corrects the deficiency. Well, ketrocel white is administered through a port in their bodies in a location very similar to where chemo ports go on cancer patients! Of course, since I knew about the Jem'Hadar years before I got cancer or had ever heard of chemo ports -- when my chemo nurse offered me the option to have a port for my chemo infusions, the instant she showed me one and indicated where I'd get it if I chose to have one, it spilled right out of me, my instant immediate reaction: "OMG, I'm going to be a Jem'Hadar!" LOL. She didn't know what in the heck I was talking about of course, but I decided just as quickly that I'd MUCH rather be a Jem'Hadar than be stuck with all those horrible needles!  

    So, if any of you are Star Trek DS9 fans, you get the humor I find in this, and of course my good friend Kym and my Pack Rat are and do, so they understood and laughed with me about it.

    ~Lena.
  • chelev
    chelev Member Posts: 417
    edited March 2009

    I had my power port placed yesterday at our local surgi center, and since it was the same place I had my lumpectomy done, the nurses all remembered but, but didn't recognize me since I have gotten my 'chemo cut".  Procedure was fairly quick and I didn't feel a thing during, since I agreed wholeheartedly to take as much happy juice as they were giving out!!  I get queasy thinking about "vein things" and didn't want to feel any of it.  Not too much pain today, mostly near my left shoulder.  I can shower today if needed, and will follow up with my breast surgeon (who signed and left a smiley face on my bandage) on Tuesday morning to check it and remove the bandages.  Set for my first chemo (TX/C) on Thursday morning - next hurdle to get over (and then there are only three more!), so we'll see what we have from that.  Last night I was queasy from the meds, always am, and kept ice on it every 15-20 minutes.  The nurses advised me to do this all weekend to help with the swelling, since I'm getting treatment this week.  Only taking advil, didn't want the darvocet at all.  Been eating crackers off and on, but was able to eat breakfast and yes, Coffee!! this morning.  It wasn't as scary or painful as I was imagining.  Good luck to all who will be getting this done.

  • enjoylife
    enjoylife Member Posts: 187
    edited March 2009

    Please anyone that has had thier port out I have been so lucky my port never gave me any trouble at all and thank god I had it for all the blood work they do on you through the process of chemo hecepten after chemos over rad etc ...but next month I should be done with hercepten and be able to get my port out anyone know what is involved in that? When I had it put in I worked half a day went in had to have someone to drive me home last May it was simple hoping getting it out is a simple if not even more simple????

    Thanks Spring is going out like a lion here in MO...

  • NatsFan
    NatsFan Member Posts: 1,927
    edited April 2009

    Enjoy - good timing on your question - I just got my port taken out this morning.  It was done by my surgeon as an office visit.  The worst part was getting the shot of lidocaine to numb everything.  Once that took effect, I didn't feel anything but some tugging and pulling.  She stitched it up and covered the area with a gauze pad that I have to leave on for 24-48 hours.  The whole thing from start to finish took about 45 minutes, including the 20 minutes or so we waited to let the lidocaine take effect.  My dh drove me there and back, but if I'd needed to, I could have easily driven myself.  I took a couple of Tylenols as we left the surgeon's office, just to make sure I wasn't hurting too much when the lidocaine wore off, but I probably didn't even need to do that.  As a matter of fact, I felt good enough to go out to lunch afterwards, and then on the way home we stopped at a department store to pick up some presents we needed to buy. I'm home now and feeling fine.

    The whole process is much easier that getting the port in.    

  • BethD2009
    BethD2009 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2009

    Your bra strap outline idea is good -- I'll add a recommendation to identify the area where your shoulder seat belt would cover you -- my port gets irritated w/ the seat belt pressure.  The port is definitely the way to go!  I asked my chemo buddies if removing the port when I'm done with chemo at the end of April was good or bad voodoo.  The consensus was to promote good voodoo and to keep it! BTW - I had my port inserted during sentinal node biopsy, so gen anesthesia worked just fine for me.

  • Beach
    Beach Member Posts: 16
    edited April 2009

    Teena,

    Thanks for the detailed description!!!  My port goes in on Apr 20th, and I have been quite anxious thinking about it.............now not so much :-)) 

  • enjoylife
    enjoylife Member Posts: 187
    edited April 2009

    I had my port put in last May about the 10th and its been in almost a year and has given me no problems at all so if your anxious I hope this helps you mine is also a power port too I should be getting it out the end of this month also. It is alot nicer than them usin your veins all the time and I was still able to wear most V necks with it in. Good luck and hope it goes by fast for all of you guys..

  • deb6563
    deb6563 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2009

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the board, in fact, this is my first post.  I will be getting my port next Friday and this definatley helps me.

  • lrm216
    lrm216 Member Posts: 534
    edited April 2009

    Much thanks to all of you for the wonderful information and all the tips.  I have my appt this wednesday with the vascular surgeon for my exam and consult, and at that time I will be given a date for the port placement.  Is this usual?  My chemo is scheduled to begin on the 30th of April, so it will be placed by then, but was just wondering if you all had to have a consult and exam with the surgeon first, then the date for placement, or is this just how this particular vascular surg. works it?  Does anything go fast or easy with this damn disease?  Just when I thought the tough stuff was over: Core Needle biopsy, MRI, lumpectomy, re-excision for clean margin, 1st visit with onc, now I find I need to have CT scan, bone scan, echocardiogram, chemo class, vascular surgeon appt, port placement, and then the dreaded start of chemo.  I don't want to play this game anymore! 

    Linda

    Linda

  • HelenNC
    HelenNC Member Posts: 21
    edited April 2009

    Linda I hear ya!

    I too had the Lumpectomy, with 18 nodes removed. The re-sicision surgery as well. I met w/my onc & then the onc nurse. I meet w/my surgeon this thurs, April 23rd, then the port goes in the next day on the 24th. My chemo is scheduled to start on Tuesday, the 28th. So, yes, it does come all at once.

  • foxyroxy2983
    foxyroxy2983 Member Posts: 7
    edited April 2009

    Hello everyone! Just out of curiosity, I had my port put in last month, started chemo, and it is annoying and it hurts, is that normal?

  • luv4my5girls
    luv4my5girls Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2009

    Thank You Teena,

    I was just looking on line for info on port placements, so it worked out great that I stumbled on your post.  I am having my port placed on Monday April 27th.  I am nervous and am not looking forward to any pain or pulling....yikes!  I have a 1 yr. old so not being able to hold her is going to be hard on both of us.  I am not sure what kind of port I am getting yet.   

    Thanx again! 

  • slf
    slf Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2009

    Teena,

    Thanks for the detailed description of your surgery to place the chemo port.  I'm having that done this morning and had also looked online for info about the surgery but to no avail.  Now I know what to expect that that is always comforting.

    Sharon 

  • HelenNC
    HelenNC Member Posts: 21
    edited April 2009

    Well, I had my surgery for my port yesterday & I can't believe how uncomfortable I am. I had 2 surgeries, lumpectamy & re-incision. But I am in more pain with this than the other 2 combined. I know part of the reason is that they didn't medicate me as much for this as for the full surgeries, but has anyone else had pain & burning sensation?

  • TorchSong
    TorchSong Member Posts: 17
    edited April 2009

    Hi Helen--

    I too found the port placement to be more uncomfortable than the lumpectomy (well, except for those darn drains!). Give it a few days--I found that the first three or four days--maybe even a week? it's been a few months, can't remember exactly--were the worst. 

    Hang in there!

    Hugs

  • HelenNC
    HelenNC Member Posts: 21
    edited April 2009

    thanks TorchSong! Yes, it's better today. I still had to take a pain pill tho!

    First Chemo tomorrow!!!!!

  • lrm216
    lrm216 Member Posts: 534
    edited April 2009

    Ugh!  Just to let you know I had my port put in by a vascular surgeon yesterday.  Had the "twilight sleep" and was awake throughout the whole thing talking to the surgeon.  Much like my core needle - the lidocaine in my jugular hurt the most, then no pain, but felt all the pressure.  I have to admit, everytime I look at it, I actually get physically nauseous, and I mean that.  I cannot even imagine someone putting anything into this wonderful new "power port."  I am in a hell of a lot of pain with it and have trouble even turning my neck.  I attempted to take my polo shirt off and when I crossed my arms to pull it up and over my head I just about died!  Does anything they do to us ever work without going through so much more discomfort and pain????  Hope this gets better and soon!

    Linda

  • sakura73
    sakura73 Member Posts: 76
    edited April 2009

    I'm another having bad neck pain after the insertion of a port. Had it put in a week ago (general anaesthetic) and used the same day for my second AC. I have full movement of my arm but my neck is soooo stiff that I can barely turn my head. Pain killers don't seem to help. Please God it gets better soon because i can't take 6 months of this.

  • Lursa5
    Lursa5 Member Posts: 25
    edited May 2009

    REALLY glad for this post. Makes me feel more 'normal'. I had my port in my starbord side during left lumpectomy/nodes. The only pain I experianced from my port that I DIDN'T expect was  upper rear shoulder and back pain. I kept trying to figure out what the heck they'd done to me while I wasn't looking!

  • chelev
    chelev Member Posts: 417
    edited May 2009

    Hi, FoxyRoxy - I had my port put in in late March, first chemo april 2, second chemo on april 23, and I have been having issues with the port since it went it.  Latest issue, which we just finished testing on today has been swelling and pain, tenderness near the port, from last friday night to now.  They did a CT scan to check for blood clots - negative.  A port-a-gram to make sure it is working correctly - yes, it is.  No explanation or any idea.  My husband and I think my body is trying to reject the port.  with this secondary round of side effects, my onc and I decided yesterday to stop the chemo - my body isn't reacting well to it or the port.  I am waiting to hear from my breast surgeon when we can get the port out, hopefullly within a month, so they don't have to flush it again.  But, since it was put in, it never stopped really aching, and I haven't been able to sleep on that side or hug anyone really well.  It's always been there in the background.  So, for some, I think, their bodies just don't really like that it is in there.

    Hope that helps.

  • Kelly2
    Kelly2 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2009

    I am so happy I found this post. I am having a port placement on May 7 and I really had no idea exactly what was going to happen and I didn't realize the pain and soreness it could cause. I was thinking it would be something quick and that I could go on with daily activities. Now I know that I better be prepared to take it easy for a few days.  

  • jkg51
    jkg51 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2009

    I had a lumpectomy 2 1/2 weeks ago and now have to have chemo, herceptin and radiation.  The next step is to have a port placed.  My sister-in-law had chemo and had her port placed in her arm.  She said she wouldn't have it any place else.  I wonder what the pros and cons are for arm placement.  I sure don't want it on my chest. 

  • HelenNC
    HelenNC Member Posts: 21
    edited May 2009

    I love my Surgeon. He has great knowledge & explains everything to me just right.

    I told him about this board & that many had the port put in the arm or even into the breast. He said he prefers the chest area. Minimal chance for movement of the port. The breast area is all fatty tissue & the port can move all over. He didn't want to do the arm area because you would have to outstretch your arm all those hours

    Just passing this along....

  • sakura73
    sakura73 Member Posts: 76
    edited May 2009

    Thought I had better pop back in to say that my port does seem to have settled down. Not much neck pain. I had not realised there was swelling, but now that it has gone down I realise there wass!

     So it does get better. It is not great, but it is better.

  • lpeters
    lpeters Member Posts: 3
    edited May 2009

    My Surgical Ono prefers to place the port into the breast.  My lumpectomy breast was my left, so my port is in my right breast.  It seems more protected there, under my bra.  It doesn't bother me at all.  I've had it since April 29.  It runs under my skin into my neck vein.

    The worst part of my surgery was my neck incision, which really looked more like a very tiny hole, once I removed the bandage.  It was hard to turn my head for a couple of days.  I joked that she failed to make me aware that she was going to slit my neck! :)

    The Chemo nurses "tolerate" the breast placement...because they have to expose the breast to access it...that's the only negative.  It seems to be my ono's trademark.

  • Janet22664
    Janet22664 Member Posts: 18
    edited May 2009

    I am so happy to have found this thread.  Although I have been on the boards for about three weeks, I found this thread by googling "port placement complications".

     So, here's my question...I had my port inserted four days ago and am having good deal of chest discomfort.  First it was like an all over acheness, now it's like a heaviness or fullness - hurts when I take a deep breath.  It's not so bad when I'm still, but when I bend or move a lot - it hurts.  It's not the spot where the port was placed - more in the center of the chest.  I'm sort of scared of it being heart related.  Anyone experience a similar situation?

    Janet

  • debbie6122
    debbie6122 Member Posts: 2,935
    edited May 2009

    Iam having my port put in next tuesday on the 26th in the morning and then at noon i am going to have my first chemo on the same day, after reading that some of you were very tender after having there port put in iam wondering if this is really a good idea to do it this way and have any of you done or heard of this being done on the same day?? So many questions, i know, but iam kind of freaked out right now about all this.-debbie

  • susan_CNY
    susan_CNY Member Posts: 64
    edited May 2009

    Debbie, I did that and was very sorry I did, can you call the onco and ask if you can have a few weeks to heal? the onco may not even know this is happening.