AnonymousMarch 25, 2010 at 10:40 pm
I just had a port put in on Tuesday and was wondering about the placement of it. My Dr. told me that he would put it on the left side, but when I woke up he had to put it in the right side of my chest and neck. His assistant said something about it being harder to put in on the left side because the lung is closer up on the left side. Also, I am bruised in the area and wondered if maybe he had a hard time and had to push hard to get it under the skin. There is pain in the area also. I was wondering if anyone else has had one and what your experience has been with it. I know it will be easier to do an IVIG now, with less poking for a vein to get in.
Clare in Michigan
March 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm
There could have been many reasons he chose the other side, I am sure it is nothing and just a result of better geographics!! We DID have pain for about a week. There was bruising. Try not to get it wet in the shower, take a bath if possible. Leave the tegaderm patch as long as possible, it will start to peel off probably about the fourth day. There should be one on your neck as well, leave that one too. When it does become necessary to remove the tegaderm, try to hold the steri strips in place. Rubbing alcohol on top of the tegaderm helps to get it off, but don’t get it on the steri strips or wound area. After about the fifth day we covered the areas with sterile gauze and taped at the edges. Your skin may be very raw and exfoliated from the tegaderm and the removal of it. Try to keep the steri strips as long as possible, just trim the edges. They will fall off when they are ready. Expect swelling for about a month or two. If your doc did not leave you accessed, you might have a little discomfort the first time around due to swelling. Maybe suggest that a longer than protocol needle be used to account for the swelling. That should ensure only one stick. When you put the emla cream on for the first stick, put the cream on and cover it with glad press and seal, this will help to not exfoliate again with tegaderm as well as not tug at the stitches. If you have any questions ask away!
AnonymousMarch 26, 2010 at 12:31 am
My port was put on the right. I wore a sports bra that hooked closed (not pull over your head type) for a whole week 24/7. It kept everything snug/not moving especially in bed. Put little bags of ice in it too when the pain gets outta hand. I gladly took my pain pills cause it sure felt like a mule kicked me.
Learned not to carry anything heavy for at least 6 months-like a full grocery bag. It will be sore for some time. It’s surgery.
Be good to yourself and don’t over do.
Any questions I will try to answer.
AnonymousMarch 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm
I got it put in! Do ask for emla cream right off the bat, some folks don’t need it? But better to be safe than sorry.
Infusions are so easy, much faster and w/less s/e’s using the port. I honestly wish I’d gotten it sooner.
Yes there’s the bruising, but it’ll go away soon enough and you won’t have to endure repeated ‘sticks’ as with regular catheter needles.
Hope this helps.
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AnonymousJune 3, 2006 at 8:23 am
Hi Friends – Can anyone who has or has had a medi-port for delivery of IVIG tell about their experience? What led to decision to have one put in, what was insertion process like? I have a date w/ the surgeon and am overwhelmed by precautions given at preop meeting – but my hand and arm veins are really damaged. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Bonney
AnonymousJune 3, 2006 at 9:23 am
I have not had any personal experience with a port, but I did work in a cancer center and I was the one who accessed the ports for the nurses to start the chemo. In other words I would draw the blood for tests through the port and bandage up the line until the results came back, If the labs were good, the nurses used the line I places so they did not have to stick the patient again. And if they could not have chemo that day, I was the one who removed it.
I had only one patient that had a port in the arm, and she seemed to have the most pain from the needle sticks. All the others had the port placed in the chest wall.
I think for me, I would want a chest port as the skin is not as tender there, and you don’t have to worry about bumping your arm etc.
That is about all I can share. I am sure there are others that have personal experience. The gal I had with the arm port, may have just had a low pain treshold so I can’t really judge on that alone.
Hope it goes well for you.
AnonymousJune 4, 2006 at 9:58 am
Hi blu – thanks for the good information! I get my IVIG infusions at a regional cancer center, so I have the same thoughts about oncology nurses that you do – I think you are also right about the preferred site for insertion, chest versus arm – I’m just concerned about all of the warnings that the surgeon had to go over with me – and yet when I see a cancer patient finally get a port and see how happy they are to have one less thing to worry about – well, I can understand the hem/onc. doctor reccommending one when your veins are worn out. Thanks for your answer – Bonney
AnonymousJune 4, 2006 at 10:03 am
Hi blu – one more thing…bless you for being the person to insert the works for the patients – no one can handle that process better than the onc. personnel that do it every day – I really admire the men and women nurses and phlebotomists (?) that do that job! Bonney
AnonymousJune 4, 2006 at 12:16 pm
My 4 year old daughter has a Broviac Catheder in her chest to administer IVIG. It is a small tube that sticks out about 10 inches. She was put under for it to be inserted & woke up totally fine. She did have a little pain 2 days afterwards but it went away with Motrin.
From what I understand, with a PORT they will have to poke through the skin with a needle before infusing. That is why we chose the Broviac. We just screw the tubing on & we are all set. There is a higher rate of infection with what my daughter has though.
I think that a PORT is a fantastic idea if you have problems getting IV’s. Life is SO much easier for my daughter now.
I know that you are nervous about the surgery but it was really easy. I think it took about 20 minutes from start to finish.
AnonymousJune 4, 2006 at 4:14 pm
I had a sub clavian port put in during my heavy ivig usage. It was much simpler than trying to find a vein, blown veins, etc. My wife was allowed to administer the ivig after the port, which made it really convenient. No more home health nurses to try and align schedules with. Since getting the port my veins have returned. It also is alot less painful to have a port accessed than have someone stick you repeatedly. I only get Rituxan now and I hope it continues working, so maybe soon I will get it removed, since the schedule is only every 2 months.
AnonymousJune 5, 2006 at 8:58 am
I have had ports several times in the past. The only thing that can cause a problem is when they have to flush it to avoid clotting. Make sure the person who is accessing it sterilizes the area very well. I was told that they should ALWAYS pull out and then use another needle to inject the IVIG or the anti-clotting drug. I had one that was contaminated with E-Coli because of a careless nurse who would not listen to what anyone was telling her. Other than that it is a lot easier that having them poke around looking for veins every time.
Hang in there, Lea
AnonymousJune 6, 2006 at 1:05 pm
Bonney-in July 2001 I had a medi-port put in the chest area so they could give me the plasma pheresis treatments for GBS. I was totally unfamiliar with the procedure, and a heart specialist inserted it in a surgical room, and I was given a shot in the chest area to freeze the area. I felt nothing when it was done, nor did I when the specialist took it out. The nurses who did the plasma pheresis did the cleaning of the port after they would administer the treatments, and they watched it closely as did the nursing staff. I had it in for approx. 6 weeks until my treatments were done, and the nurse specialist said it could have been left in alot longer. You have to be careful when showering, but they will cover it I am sure. Good luck, and sometimes the anticipation is worse than the actual procedure. elayne
AnonymousJune 6, 2006 at 4:54 pm
I had ports installed on my right chest for plasma pheresis in 1994, when I first had GBS. These tubes stuck ot of my skin and one of the “careing” nursing staff ripped it out when they got in a hurry moving me in bed.
Then, the 24th of May 2006 I had a sub clavin port installed on the left side of my upper chest. I was really uptight, what with my past experience in ’94, also my biopsies in 2001, (another horror story). But all went smooth, with no problems. It seemed to me that a big “to do” was made prior to the surgury. I was given a local, and the procedure took approx. 1 hour. I took 1 pain pill when I got home, and other than that I had no pain or problems. I jokingly told the surgeon (when she removed the sutchers), the whole deal was kinda fun.
So you can see I’ve been though the wringer, (good & bad). You’ll do just fine. Just take it moment by moment. We are here for ya if you need us. One thing I don’t remember being told about is that the port has to be flushed every 30 days.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya Bonney…You take care… 😀
AnonymousJune 6, 2006 at 7:51 pm
Hi Bonney…I had a subclavian port inserted in 2003 and have had absolutely no trouble with it. I do have a nurse insert the huber needle to it for each infusion but it is just a tiny sting…nothing like getting an iv especially when the veins are blown. It also needs to be flushed with saline and heparin between treatments if your infusions are longer than a month apart. It requires no other care and is only noticeable as a little bump about the size of a nickle on t hechest. Good luck. I think you are making the right decision…Annie
AnonymousJune 6, 2006 at 8:47 pm
The first port they put in my arm. It interfeared with a nerve in there, and I could not flex my index finger. It stayed out all the time. Not good for finger thumb function. It was removed very shortly thereafter, and put in my chest. That was in Jan of 2003 and I’ve had no problems with it since. And, My finger got back it’s flexability in about 2 weeks. Thankfully ! I also appreciate the port for the ease of getting labs done. Since I get my I V I G three days in a row, they leave the needle in for the three days, and flush it with heprin and saline each morning. Then remove it at the end of the third day. You have made a good choice. Do not worry, anxiety just saps your strength. It will be just fine.
AnonymousJune 9, 2006 at 12:51 am
I just read in the most recent magazine “IVIG TODAY” on the three kinds of access-port, under the skin (stomach) and the hand/arm IV method.The surgeons wanted to put me to sleep for the port-haven’t heard of the simple “shot in the chest” procedure.
The infusion nurses are rather upset with having to find a vein each visit.It’s hard on us both. I’ve had over 70 IVIG infusions in 12 months. Would have been more but the shortage of it put me on “hold” a few times.
I have found myself wondering recently about getting a port now….doesn’t look like my treatments are going to be less for quite a while.
I would get the chest port not the arm one-too easy to bump.
AnonymousJune 10, 2006 at 7:01 am
Annie, Limekat, KC’s Mom and others — Thank you so much for your posts! – they sure do help keep things in perspective…I’m not worried about the insertion procedure; I have had catheters put in for plasma-pherisis and have dealt with the maintenence of those devises — I guess the surgeon’s strong warnings about blood clots and infections (re medi-ports) was what set me off – however! having completed day three of IVIG infusions- yesterday- with three different oncology nurses trying five times before they could get a vein to stay open for my last 45 grams, I am ready for a port – I will let you know how it goes when I get it! – Bonney
AnonymousJune 13, 2006 at 7:37 am
Your welcome Bonney. Glad I could help.
When I was working the following is the technique I used. This may or may not be of used to you.
Gloves, gloves, gloves. Don’t let anyone come near it without using gloves.
When I cleaned the area, I used a package of 3 betadine swab sticks. I would start in the middle of the port and clean it in a circular fashion, starting in the middle, working my way out. Then I tossed that swab. Never place that swab back on the center, or you just contaiminated the surface. I did this 3 times. The idea is to move any bacteria etc, out and away from the port. I usaully did a 4-5 inch circle. Just to be safe.
I accessed the port. Pulled back on the plunger first, if all was well, I would then flush the port with steril saline, 10 ccs. Then I would remove that syringe and add a new one, and remove any blood specimen I needed. I would remove that syringe and add another one with 10 ccs of steril saline and flush the port again. Cover, and tape it up, until the nurses used it for the chemo. When they were finished, they also flushed the port once again.
It is also true that if you want it to keep functioning and free from clots, you must get it flushed regularly when not in use.
Hope that helps. I would squawk at anyone who did not use good steril technique. And once again, gloves, gloves, gloves. New ones, never ones that were used on another patient. I gloved up right in front of the patient so they could see me do it.
Also one thing I did was to just before I made the stick, I would spray the site with a numbing solution, the name eludes me now. But that helped make the stick even easier.
AnonymousJune 14, 2006 at 10:26 am
I started getting IVIG treatments in MAy 2005 and by November my home health nurses were begging me to get a medi port. My veins were blowing before tey could get a IV started and when they would finally find one it would infiltrate before the treatment ws completed. When I had my follow up with my nuero in February 2006 he agreed and set up appt with surgeon.
Three weeks later I had my surgrery, they compleely knocked me out so I only remember being sore for the first couple weeks. I think part of what made me so sore for so long was that I left the outpatient surgery center at 11am and started my monthly treatment by 1pm that same day. I was also moving that week and this caused me to use my arms more than ususal.
Since then I have been going to the outpatient IV center for my treatments, as my disability as approved and I no longer got the medical card to cover home health. Anytime I need to get blood drawn they do it through my port and I LOVE that!!! It has been great.
My incision has scarred over more than I would like since he put it inthe center of my chest, just over my breat bone. I was upset about the placement at first but after being in the outpatient center and seeing some of the “knots” from the ports being placed in the shoulder area, I like my placement better. I am getting used to the scar and slight protrusion on my chest but have even been brave enough to wear tank tops and not worry about it. It is a part of me and my life now and I’m not going to hide from it.
Hope this helps and good luck with your appt.
AnonymousJune 17, 2006 at 1:06 am
I remember the second vascular surgeon said for me to find the area just above my soft breast tissue and mark it with a pen for better port placement. He said I’d be on the table and they’d not know the area since I was laying flat. Anyone ever been told this before???
Finished my 3 day infusion marathon. One nurse just started putting a warming pad over my hand/arm for 15 minutes-it makes the veins rise up closer to the skin. She knows her stuff and is much more at ease doing my IV insertions.The other nurse just starts jabbing and saying “the vein is running” and comments I don’t need or want to hear.
One day I blew 6 IV’s.
Yes, I’m a holdout but I may or may not get a port. It’s our decision.
AnonymousJune 17, 2006 at 11:45 am
I had a PICC line inserted in the hospital, because I also had bad veins after all those sticks to get a diagnosis of GBS. It was inserted in my right arm, with sterile technique, and it was less painful than those sticks! There was a tagaderm covering it, which actually was more uncomfortable than anything, and I was told that with proper care, it could stay in for months. I had it removed after a month when I got home (I have a young infant and didn’t want to risk it being pulled out). I loved it, because after flushing with saline, it would take the 40 grms IVIG with no problem. Good luck and please take care!
AnonymousJuly 26, 2006 at 12:54 am
[QUOTE=Bonney Daubenspeck]Hi Friends – Can anyone who has or has had a medi-port for delivery of IVIG tell about their experience? What led to decision to have one put in, what was insertion process like? I have a date w/ the surgeon and am overwhelmed by precautions given at preop meeting – but my hand and arm veins are really damaged. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Bonney[/QUOTE]
i go next wedsday to get my port i just had surgery for colon cancer,is it much pain,
AnonymousJuly 26, 2006 at 6:49 am
Pdaddy4u – it is not painful – I had mine put in at a same-day-surgery facility at my local hospital – whole thing takes about 1/2 hour – I had Versad – a conscious sedation – as well as local pain injection -lidocaine? – felt nothing – a small amount of soreness lasted about three days at most – and that was from bruising caused by insertion – pressure during procedure, not pain – I floated in and out of “sleep”. It was used on the 6th, 7th, 8th days post-op and worked wonderfully without pain – I’m glad I did have it put in. Bonney
AnonymousJuly 28, 2006 at 12:56 am
[QUOTE=Bonney Daubenspeck]Pdaddy4u – it is not painful – I had mine put in at a same-day-surgery facility at my local hospital – whole thing takes about 1/2 hour – I had Versad – a conscious sedation – as well as local pain injection -lidocaine? – felt nothing – a small amount of soreness lasted about three days at most – and that was from bruising caused by insertion – pressure during procedure, not pain – I floated in and out of “sleep”. It was used on the 6th, 7th, 8th days post-op and worked wonderfully without pain – I’m glad I did have it put in. Bonney[/QUOTE]
thanks bonney, i feel a little better now, how long did you have to take chemotherapy.
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