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PORT PLACEMENT - Detailed description of process



  • sheila888
    sheila888 Member Posts: 9,611
    edited August 2009

    My port stayed in for 17 months. But my oncologist said i believe 1 year after the chemo is done,

    I read some other posts that they were taking out in less than 6 months.

    17 months was my choice. I wasn't ready before. Every month I had to go to the infusion room so they could flush it with Heparin.

    That was my experience.

    Good luck ladies.

    Smile Sheila Smile

  • Kim09
    Kim09 Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2009

    Here is a suggestion for those of you who have their chemo starting within days of the port being put in.  I had my port put in the day before my chemo.  The surgeon went ahead and stuck the needle in the port.  When I went in for chemo all they had to do was hook the IV line to the needle.  After the treatment they took out the needle.

  • unklezwifeonty
    unklezwifeonty Member Posts: 30
    edited August 2009

    Is the port needed even if I am only getting 8 cycles in all?

  • artemis
    artemis Member Posts: 105
    edited August 2009
    unklezwifeonty, I had eight cycles, and I have a port.  Sometimes it has to do with what meds you're getting, I think.  I'm not sure about that, though.  I can tell you that it makes starting an IV so much easier!
  • Sessna1
    Sessna1 Member Posts: 200
    edited August 2009

    Breast cancer.  Stage IV.  ND (No Disease as of this time.)  I have rolling collapsible veins.  I also had pneumonitis in May of 2009.  As of one week ago, I have a pulmonary embolism. 

    I didn't want anyone going into my chest even for a minor procedure.  My chest doesn't feel "normal" to me, as it's hard to distinguish between heartburn, chest pain, and shortness of breath for me.  I have to have a handle on what is "normal" for me to know when I need help.  I keep driving myself to the ER  (two times this year) for valid reasons.

    I have been on TCH.  My veins are Haydn like Joseph.  I am blessed with ace nurses at the City of Hope that keep finding those veins.

    When they scheduled me for a port-a-cath, they didn't give me half the information that they really should have.  I called and cancelled the procedure.  I can't go forward without being informed to an acceptable level - that's just the way I roll.  Most of the time, that is. 

    I have a high pain threshold.  On a good day, you can stick me five times looking for a vein, and as long as you don't wiggle that needle much, I will smile at you.

    I don't know how Coumadin will affect Herceptin... I'll find out at the end of this week from my oncologist.  I was told that you can't stop Herceptin once you start, however, I was also told that I'll be on Coumadin for about six months.

  • orlyginossar
    orlyginossar Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2009

    i had it and no body gave me such info .great job everyone should know it 

  • jadams1264
    jadams1264 Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2009

    Thank you for your detailed description of the port procedure.  I am having mine done on Wednesday am so I will know what to expect.  Good for you for skipping the sedative, I also hope to do the same, that stuff always makes me sick!

  • amlg1
    amlg1 Member Posts: 77
    edited September 2009

    How long does it take for the tenderness to go away at the port site.It is still sore after a week.

    Thank You

  • karina_il
    karina_il Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2009

    it's take about week or two for tenderness go away

  • activern
    activern Member Posts: 111
    edited September 2009
    Great posts!  Well, I had my port redone 3 TIMES Cry!  The first time, the discomfort lasted for days and I had to use ice packs and take Motrin!.  And..... the nurses could not access it for my chemo, so back to the drawing board.  Instead of removing the port entirely, the vascular surgeon revised it - that did not work either and the after pain was the same.  My sister who had a port placed [colon ca] told me that it should not hurt this much.  Well, the third time an interventional radiologist did it and I can say now "night and day" - no pain, just a tiny thread visible but was told that should disappear.  I have chemo Monday so will post success or failure! Lol.  I have to maintain humor since all this can be so depressing!
  • artemis
    artemis Member Posts: 105
    edited February 2010
    Good grief, activern, you've really been through it!  *hugs*  I hope all goes well with you on Monday and that the port works the way it should.  Best wishes!
  • clariceak
    clariceak Member Posts: 12
    edited October 2009

    Thanks to everyone who posted on this thread and so sorry for your ordeal activern.  I'm hoping my placement goes well on Oct 23rd, as I start chemo a few hours after placement.  This is due to me traveling for treatment.

    Kimo9 - I will definitely be inquring about your suggestion re leaving a needle in after surgery.  It sounds much more humane.

  • Ditasea
    Ditasea Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2009

    Thank you so much!! I will have a port placed the day after tomorrow, and was also concerned about what it would be like.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to open the web site with the picts. Can anybody tell me if I will be able to wear low neck t-shirts or whether the scars will show? I´m a bit concerned as I love straped and strapless tops and dresses.

  • Cathicam
    Cathicam Member Posts: 13
    edited October 2009

    I will be getting my port put in this Friday during my mastectomy. I know I'm going to be miserable as the port will go on the left, my right breast is being removed and I'm a side sleeper! I won't be able to lay on my right or my left side for a long time.

    My fiance and I went to the store and decided we would do a little planning for when I come home from the hosptial. We purchased one of those memory foam bed toppers and will be folding it in half and putting it on my reclyner (couch with two reclyners) then covering it with a sheet and this will be my recover place. He doesn't want to bump me in my sleep and I will be too tempted to roll on my side if I'm in bed so we are hoping this will be a comfortable alternative for me.

    Starting Friday things are going to be hard.

  • MaryNY
    MaryNY Member Posts: 486
    edited October 2009

    I had a port placed yesterday. I felt fine for a few hours afterwards, then it started to hurt. It hurts when I move. It's worst when I bend or when I reach with my right hand. Some of the sensation is just discomfort or soreness but there's pain too. I took two Tylenol during the night and the second one hasn't worn off yet, so it's not so bad now.

    Is it typical to feel pain like this in the first 24 hours? Will it improve soon so that I can move my arm and neck freely?

    Light pressure at the two sites is painful too. 

  • brenda46742
    brenda46742 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2009

     I am new here and I just got my port Monday . I can say I was very sore Monday but better tueseay. I how ever did get the happy juice I arrived at 830  filled out all the paper work got dressed and had the things put on myu legs that put air in each leg back and forth. got my IV in and started Iv antibolic happy juice .saw my DR and  sleep dr was taken to OR finished putting me under . I have a power port triangle and purple.she did not go down my neck so turning head is great she started under my collarbone on left side because it is the straightest route to lg artery. took me to recovery and I woke up then to my room and j was totally awake. and my friend and I got me around and we left and we were eating at cracker barrel which is maybe 25 minutes from hospital. and were eating by 1230 I was hungry  yes it does hurt some but better today than yesterday . I aslo have the cream you put on your port around half hour before chemo treatment and yoiu cover it with plastic wrap to make it numb morel  thanks Brenda

  • rachhschmidt
    rachhschmidt Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2009

    Any one have comments about having a port and being pretty active, bike riding, hiking and being a very physical person in general?  I'm going to get mine this afternoon. Rachel

  • guardian
    guardian Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2009

    i have had my port for the last 5 sessions of chem due to viens collapsing..its a god messing about with needles i do the flush myself at home. I have had no problems at all with it..i got some micropore from the hospital and use a small peice to tape the bung to my chest wall saves it swinging about or getting caught in my straps easy at night to no worry of catching it as you turn over...all chemo over for me to now but port has to saty due to herceptine iv's for 12 months xx

  • KittyDog
    KittyDog Member Posts: 656
    edited December 2009

    I got my port Monday and wished I had found this then.  I am still very sore and chemo hurt like --- getting the line started.  I also have mine under the collar bone area but I am a special case.  I had a bad break to that collar bone many years ago and that is playing a role in how it had to be placed.  I was left with nerve damage around  where I broke the collar bone.  To this day I still can't wear a bar strap on that shoulder where it should be.    You know it is bad when your surgeon looks at you and says your shoulder is not normal. 

    They did a great job though.  I remember getting on the OR table and having my hands tied down.  The shot of stuff they gave burned like crazy but then my iv was in a horrible spot and still bruised from my test 4 days earlier.  I don't remember much else other than hearing some talking and them saying it was done.  It took them about 45 minutes.  I thought in recovery that had my break hurt worse than this.  My health nurse told me though later it would feel like a freight train ran over my arm...she was right but nothing bad enough that the pain pills haven't kept at bay.  

  • Somuch
    Somuch Member Posts: 21
    edited December 2009

    Great info, thanks.  I didn't realize the port was such a big deal. I have a lot of questions I'll be asking my surgical team. My Onc suggested a port for the 12 months of herceptin. It goes in on 12/30 with my first infusion on 1/11. 

  • ktj1947
    ktj1947 Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2009

    Thanks so much for this information.  My port is going in on  Friday.  I don't think I am going to be as brave as you.  I plan on getting the sedative.  My husband is coming with me.  He seems to need to be needed when going to my appointments, etc.  He's also unemployed right now; so he has made me his job right now.  How fortunate am I.  Again, thanks for all the helpful information.  I am hoping by this time, your treatments have ended.

  • PS73
    PS73 Member Posts: 171
    edited December 2009

    I got my port out today.  Yah!  One chapter closed.  I could have left it in but I had blood clots and had to go on coumadin so I was happy to have it taken out today.  Ill be doing herceptin by IV.   Getting the port put in is quite the process however getting it taken out is out patient and easy.  The BS numbs you and takes it out.  You get stitched up with dissolvable stitches and you are good to go.  You can even drive yourself.

    Good luck to all the ladies just starting this process.  Stay strong!

  • KAJDerby
    KAJDerby Member Posts: 32
    edited January 2010

    I just wanted to thank tbird57 for this great post.  I had my port placed today and this post really helped me!  I was still really nervous, but this helped.  Here in Okinawa they do not use the happy juice and that was fine with me.  I also drew my bra lines on my chest so the dr would place the port away from the strap lines (someone else recommended this).  My doctor had never seen this, but seemed quite pleased to follow it. 

     Thank you again!

  • JeanneG
    JeanneG Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2010

    Thanks! That will be helpful ... I just want to add that I am very, very fortunate to have an excellent port placement.  I like to think it's because I chose an excellent surgeon.  But going forward I would recommend asking the onco and chemo nurses who is the best port implanter!  They tell me horror stories of port problems and are amazed at how well mine is inserted and works.  This device should be a bonus not a problem!  Good luck!

  • leta17
    leta17 Member Posts: 29
    edited January 2010

    PORTS come in different SIZES!!!  My surgeon rocks, I have such a small frame and was so freaked out when my onc's nurse showed me a port, but the day of the implant (today), my surgeon said she had a surprise for me and showed me the port that was almost 1/2 the size!  What a relief!!!!!  So ASK about what size is appropriate for you!!!

    DebbyLearning - I am not usually this blunt, but you absolutely need a 2nd opinion!!!   Also, if you haven't brought a friend or family memeber with you to your Dr.'s appointments, bring someone.  The information is SO overwhelming, you need another set of ears AND talk with that person before you go and write up a list of questions.  They can even take notes for you. I delayed chemo 2 weeks, until I was comfortable with my onc and understood things.  You need to trust the person who is treating you!!

    Be strong and trust your gut!

  • cherylis
    cherylis Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2010

    Hello everyone, I start chemo in 3 weeks and nothing was said about a port.  Does anyone know why someone would not have a port?

  • friscosmom
    friscosmom Member Posts: 15
    edited February 2010

    surprised - if you think you would prefer a port ask your oncologist about it. My onco does them for everyone getting chemo. He says the chemo is very hard on your veins and that's why he uses them. If that wasn't the case I would have asked for one, I am a big baby about needles and the port is very convenient and relatively painless for infusions.

    I have a friend though that went to a large cancer center for her treatments 5 years ago and they do NOT do ports. The reason given was because they treat such are large number of cancer patients they don't have the surgical facilities to do ports for everyone. She asked her onco if they would use the port if she want somewhere else to have it implanted; they were fine with that and happy to use the port for her infusions. That being said, they didn't not offer her the port option, she only knew to ask based on researching.

    I love your profile pic btw, cute pups! 

  • cherylis
    cherylis Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2010

    Thanks friscosmom!  I'll be going to the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver (driving around the Olympic madness!) So I'll be sure to ask that question.  I was just thinking about how many needles - 1 for blood and then another for chemo, for each treatment. 

    Thanks about the picture!  It was circulating around the Net about 5 years ago and I thought it would be funny!  I was thinking it's time to change it. 

  • farfaith
    farfaith Member Posts: 19
    edited March 2010

    thank you to the people shearing about the ports i have mine tomarow they have moved so fast i have not even meet the dr who is doing mine i talked to the nurse. she said thats what he dose he is good  he dose them all for my dr .still nervice the only surgery iv had is a c section with my last son i am gona have a year of treatments dont know how manny i am doing a clinical study im whateing to see witch group of drugs they choose to try along with the aproved chemo drugs they hope ill have a better chance of no reocerance.

  • Goldstar
    Goldstar Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2010

     OMG! i didn't know all that. ok now i am a little sick! whew! guess it's better to be prepared than go in and not know this. but idk. the core biopsy had me very ill. i was hoping i'd be asleep for the port. can't have everything easy, huh? well idk how long it'll b til i get that. but boy oh boy i ain't looking forward to it. i get VERY squeamish when it comes to all that. pain don't bother me. i can tolerate that. but the needles moving around in your skin and all that-oh my!

     well i got 2 beautiful kids i'll think about and i'll be fine. did that with the biopsy and when i concentrated on them exclusively i wasn't aware of how sickning it was. they help me through anything!

     well God bless everyone. gotta get DNA test done today and get my mastectomy set up. so hopefully all that goes well. my birthday is saturday and at least i get to celebrate it with both boobs and hair at moment! LOL! i am thankful for some strange things,huh?

     well anyone want to write me i will check back. all this is new to me. don't really know much about it all yet. unfortunately i am in the middle of finding out.

     this is definately one club i never wanted a membership to-but everything happens for a reason and i don't know what mine is yet. waiting to find out. but i am sure that God means for it to be. and i can handle it because of that