Power Port

June 11, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Hi all, It has been a while since I posted. I had a powerport placed a year ago in my right chest wall. I had it placed in radiology using conscious sedation. The biggest advantage to using a radiologist is that they generally use a jugular approach. Meaning the catheter goes from the port in its “pocket” up to the jugular and down to the SVC. You actually have 2 suture lines. Sometimes when surgeons place the port in the chest, they get it down into the breast tissue, so no one can see it. That can be nice, however, it can be difficult to access if there is a lot of tissue ( it you get my drift- sorry guys). Also, there is a problem called “pinch off” where the catheter can get pinched against the clavicle. This can also cause a potential for catheter breakage. Jugular approach makes that potential complication non existent. Power Ports came out a little over a year ago. They are a little bigger and have three little “nubs” around the septum that help the nurse find the septum. It also can be used for contrast for CT scans. The port is actually triangular in shape. As with any central line. make sure the person who is accessing it knows what they are doing. Make sure they WASH their hands, clean the skin for 30 seconds ( if using chloroprep instead of betadine) and allow to DRY. Make sure they wear a mask- and you too! Make sure they use a non coring needle when accessing your port. If you are not comfortable in their knowledge of ports, get someone who does. I have seen too many infected or non functioning ports due to inexperience or sloppy accessing. No excuse!
AFter the initial placement of the port, the chest will feel like a horse kicked you. VEry sore, tender and the first access hurts. Some will have steristrips over the incision, some will have “liquid sutures” Let these come off on their own. Try not to pick or pull. Monitor your suture line until well healed. Call your doctor if you have open, red or draining suture line. You will have a period of time til your body feels right with this thing in it. Get a fuzzy to put on your seat belt to keep it from rubbing. Do all those things/ activities your body will allow.
Ports can last for many years. I hope we all have that good of luck with ours. We deserve a break!
Anyone know about the SQ IG? Sounds very doable in the home. Might be a good option eventually.
Thanks for reading my 2 cents,
CIDP 2004