Good luck with the port.

November 8, 2009 at 4:18 am

I think you will like having the port. It is easier to use if needles are scarey because it is one spot to hit and so getting an IV started is usually not an exploration and digging exercise any more. I have several suggestions from working with lots of children with ports. First, regarding timing–it seems to help the kids with autoimmune processes to get immunoglobulin close to the time before the surgery so that they go into the surgery in the best state possible. We try to do surgery within a week or ten days of an infusion if they are on monthly infusions. Also the port with be tender (bruised feeling) for about a week after it is placed and so this allows it to heal before the timing of the next infusion. Since you do not like needles, ask for LMX4 cream with lidocaine the first few times the port is accessed. this numbs the skin. Also have an experienced nurse do the accessing the first few times. The first time is the hardest because there can be a little swelling in the tissue (usually gone a week after the surgery) and because you will not know what to expect.

Usually the soreness of having the port placed is much better after three days. In the first three days, your shoulder and arm can be somewhat limited because this moves the upper chest on the side where the port is placed. You should still be able to do leg exercises, but you might not be able to “assist” with the arm on the side of the port for these first days–so make sure that PT knows that that shoulder/arm may need a mini-vacation to heal and the legs will have to have appropriate “isolated” exercises. Port in kids are more likely put on the left side of the chest.

Ports are a tiny bit more challenging in ladies than in men or kids because ladies have more tissue in the upper chest–some more than others. (No censured words in that!). You want the port to be placed so that you can still wear clothes you like with the cleavage that you like, but would want the port to have a solid place behind it so that it does not turn or move in the tissue that makes it harder to find and access. You also want to be comfortable wearing the underclothes that you like to wear. This is more an issue for full-figured women and I say it in case you are because then it is important that the port be placed where access is readily obtained but it is not in the way of wearing supportive and pretty clothes. I hope that I said that clearly enough in trying not to embarass anyone.
WithHope for a cure of these diseases.