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Port Placement

Hi all, I was hoping to hear other peoples’ experiences on having their port put in.

I recently had mine put in and it was not a great experience for me. I knew I’d be in a “twilight” state, but I was told I wouldn’t feel or remember anything. However, I felt quiet a bit and was feeling a little panicked during the procedure. I wasn’t in pain necessarily (thankfully), but I could feel them shoving the port into my chest, scooting it around, then pushing the catheter down my neck. It was all very unpleasant. The nurse even told them at one point that I was too awake. I ended up in tears until it was over.

So I guess I’m wondering if that was “normal”, because a friend of mine who had hers put in a few weeks before mine said she didn’t feel any of that.


  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,199

    I remember the tugging feeling & it was VERY creepy!

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,453

    Normal is a relative term and people experience pain/discomfort differently. From your description and the nurse’s observation you may have been under sedated. I have had several procedures under twilight sleep but have only vague memories of what went on which also leads me to believe you needed more sedation. I am so sorry this happened to you and I hope you will let the doctor know. I’m not in the medical field so this is just a guess on my part.

    It is an unfortunate reality that medical procedures and treatments don’t always go as planned. I had my port installed under general anesthesia (minor surgery was also being done) and I was thrilled that I’d be completely out. It seemed to go well. What we didn’t know was that my lung had been nicked and slowly deflated over the course of 2 weeks until it became a life threatening pneumothorax. The odds of that happening? About 1% . Yes, it’s no fun at all but things don’t always go as planned. Take care

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    sorry that happened, it sounds really unpleasant. They told me I was going under twilight sedation, but I don’t remember anything about my port placement at all. They put the mask over my face and the next thing I knew I was in recovery.

    On the other hand, I also woke up with my hair absolutely crusted in blood, and I suspect something went wrong with my placement and they put me fairly deep under. At one point they took the pillow away from me in the recovery room — they very obviously tried to keep me from seeing it, which just made me even more curious — and it was smeared and covered in brownish stains. While I was getting my first chemo later that day my hair was stiff and nasty. It was gross. I tried to ask someone what happened, because I was pretty sure that wasn’t normal, but everyone said nothing happened and acted like I was crazy. *shrug* I had other things in my mind so I didn’t stress that much about it.

    I was completely awake for the port removal though. Just some lidocaine in the surgeon’s office as he tugged and pulled it out. It felt weird, but didn’t hurt

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 982

    I was "totally out" for my port placement. I always make a big deal about telling them how I don't want to see, feel, or know anything they are doing. I've even had a couple of the anesthesiologists who came around ahead of time and even asked me just how "under" did I want to be, and I tell them "completely" and they have obliged.

    My surgeon told me how he was going to take it out in the office with just a local, and I told him I didn't think I could stand that at all, as I was real freaked out when he did the biopsy like that. He said he thought I'd handled the biopsy well and would do well with this too, but I told him I disagreed. He wound up offering to do the port removal in the OR and I was once again put "completely under" when I told the anesthesiologist that I wanted no part of anything they were planning to do.

    I did get a sense that some of the staff in the OR at the time (nurses, etc.) were a bit baffled that this was a port removal going on, and they had to keep checking with the surgeon about which follow up paper they should give me and more. I think that was because it was so unusual for a port to be removed that way, but I was extremely grateful to my surgeon for accommodating my big baby fears and phobias.

  • elderberry
    elderberry Member Posts: 1,029

    Yikes!! I had twilight sedation and it seemed like there was a draped a sheet over my head so I couldn't see anything. I could hear them and the chatter about stuff not related to my port placement. I added in my two bits in what I thought was a jolly addition to the conversation but I am not sure I made any sense. No pain. I could feel the tugging. I hated not having a shower for two days and was relieved to get the dressing off. The spot was quite tender for what seemed like a long time and I had trouble finding a comfortable way to lie on my right side. Nurses have remarked that mine looks higher up than a lot of other ones. Seatbelts can be an irritant, and I had to change my cross over purse to my left shoulder. Unlike a lot of ports I don't need Heparin. Not sure why my model is different. Just a saline flush.

    Blood!? I would have freaked out. Do you bleed easily, Melbo? My first infusion was a few weeks after the installation.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    I do not bleed easily. The only thing in the surgery notes is they they couldn’t access my clavicle vein, so they went into my jugular instead. I figured I was alive and nobody else was freaking out about it, so whatever happened wasn’t a huge deal. Plus I had the whole cancer and chemo thing freaking me out, so I didn’t dwell on it

  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 761

    When I had my port put in and removed I was completely under. Can't imagine doing it another way.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,453

    cowgirl, you and I are not typical,i.e. general anesthesia. If done as a solo procedure, twighlight sleep is almost always used.

  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 761

    exbrnxgrl, I'm so glad I could have it under full anesthesia. I also had all my sentinel node stuff done while doing my lumpectomy, There is so much going on when we go through this and I'm glad at least some of the stress could be alleviated. Good to hear from you.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,365

    I had twilight anesthesia but I was totally out... didn't know anything until they woke me up.

  • txlorelei
    txlorelei Member Posts: 68

    If they gave me any sedation, I couldn't tell. I was awake for the whole thing, and the shot with the local anesthetic was painful enough to make me cry. At least after that took effect, all I felt was some tugging.

    Oddly enough, during one of my pre-surgery biopsies, the local anesthetic didn't work. That was bad enough that the doctor apologized afterwards.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 761

    Momof4 - I'm so sorry you had to endure that, it must have been awful and frightening on top of everything else. I was awake the entire time. They all thought that I was too awake as well. We talked about food the entire time. I felt the tugging and the pressure of it all, but no pain thankfully. The port was very sore the entire time I had it and even now the scar is bothersome on a daily basis. Mine was higher up as well. Hoping everything goes well for you!

  • Blinx
    Blinx Member Posts: 82

    I had twighlight and was awake for pretty much all of it (I think). I remember a nurse sitting next to me and chit chatting, probably to distract me. What I hated the most was the enormous pressure at the end -- I was picturing someone pressing on it with both hands, arms straight and locked, pressing as hard as they could. Don't know what they were doing, but I felt that part!

    I had my first chemo a few days later and the swelling made it difficult to access -- more pressing! It was several weeks before the soreness went away and I could sleep more comfortably.

    It's been in for 14 months. I'm going to leave it in for now and get it flushed every 12 weeks.

  • fiumenero
    fiumenero Member Posts: 1

    I had my port inserted almost 2 weeks ago. They used the twilight on me and I heard their conversations and tugging and pushing. The next morning, it felt like someone took a few major hits to my chest. There is no sign of infection, but I am having a lot of pain when I move certain ways, or my breast pulls near the incision. Sometimes I have to hold my breast, so that nothing moves and causes the pain. I am wearing my old tighter bras, so that the girls stay relatively "in place." It feels like a knife stabbing me, and I have to scream in pain. I have difficulty sleeping, because I am a "side sleeper," and it's difficult to find a way to dose off without any pain. My nurse navigator said to give it a few more days, and that it sounds like a nerve is involved.

    Has anyone else had this stabbing pain?