Reply To: Port-a-cath

October 18, 2013 at 2:49 am

Getting a port was the best thing we ever did. The amount of soft tissue aka chubbiness lol you have on the chest area makes all the difference in how the port is placed and the success you will have with accessing. If you are chubbier, make sure the port is up enough or access can be difficult. There are different kinds of ports, we have had 3 different ones. The best has been the last one, a passport I think it is called. It has 3 landmark raised dots that help when palpitating to gain access. Probably the 2 most important things I would suggest from mistakes we made the first two times would be: 1. Make sure the surgeon leaves you accessed when he checks the port to see if it is properly working. by doing this it makes things much easier for your first treatment if it is within a week of the surgery. Ours was 2 days after and the area was swollen from the surgery and we could no access even with a 1.5 inch needle. We ended up going through the arm anyway. The 2nd time we had a port put in I asked the surgeon to leave him accessed. You will have to flush with salene until the treatment, but no big deal. 2. For the next treatment after your stitches have healed, you will apply emla cream to the port area to help numb the dermal layer prior to access. In the hospital, they would use a tegaderm patch to hold the emla in place and it would majorly exfoliate the skin, even making it bleed and then another tegaderm would be put on to hold the needle in place and more skin would be ripped off. I tried GLAD PRESSAND SEAL to hold the emla in place and everyone was happier. It has little channels in it that have a little stickiness to it unlike regular saran wrap and it works wonderfully. Especially for the first month when the stitches are healing.

FYI the only reason we had 3 ports is because the first two were child ports and third adult. Typically they last 5-7 years. I think we are on 4 or 5 for this one. I hope to try sub q when this port needs to be removed, otherwise we will just go to arm access, older now. Good luck it will be the best thing you ever did so much less stress.