• Anonymous
      August 29, 2006 at 12:20 pm

      I know a few posters here have experience with PORTS & I was wondering if any of you could share your wisdom on them.

      Emi had to have her Broviac catheter removed last week due to infection. After much thinking & debate we’ve decided to go with a PORT this time. The surgery is scheduled for this Thursday at 7:30am.

      I was wondering if you could tell me what it’s like to access it. That’s my biggest concern. Does it hurt? How much pressure do you feel? Does it hurt to remove it? Do you like it? And anything else you might want to share.

      I’m very scared & nervous about this. Emi is pretty adament about not getting one & just getting another Broviac. But I know that the PORT is really the best option. It was one of those hard mommy decisions that we all dread making.


    • August 30, 2006 at 11:42 am

      After 5 years of “hide and go seek” with veins every three weeks I finally went to a port. It was a “Bard” port and a simple proceedure placed it in my subclavian (?) vein on the left side. A slit was made in the skin and then the catheter went into the vein. The top of the port with a diaphram was sutured to the muscle and then the flap was closed and sutured over all. Nothing showed but a small scar line and a small “bump”. the port was accessed with a special needle and then away we went. Actually used it right after it was put in place. It was also used for access when I was hospitalized with a deep vein thrombosis.

      No more misses, lost sites etc. I loved it. The nurses who accessed it wore sterile masks, sterlized the site, were very careful to keep gloves sterile and the once needle in place and tested the site was covered to keep sterile. When vinished all was removed and a “band-aid” covered the site.

    • Anonymous
      August 30, 2006 at 4:31 pm

      I would have to agree with your decision on the port. It shouldn’t be worse to install than the Broviac, and over the long run, it’s much easier to deal with. At least that’s my experience.

      I’ve had a port for over four years and it still works fine – no problems, no infections. I get IVIG infusions every six weeks now, and I really wouldn’t want to keep up that schedule without a port.

      Unlike the Broviac, the port is only at risk for infection while it is tapped. The risk comes from NOT using proper sterile procedures. If you stay vigilant about this when the port is tapped, Emi should do fine. Ask the nurses about keeping it sterile, and keep an eye on them too – don’t let them get sloppy.

      Does tapping the port hurt? Of course not, I’m a big tough guy, OK?
      But if I had to watch my scared child go through it – I’d be climbing the walls!

      But honestly, it will be OK, it’s not that bad. Tapping the port is one quick poke and it’s over, similar to an easy IV insertion. The needle only penetrates the skin, it doesn’t go deeper and sting like an injection.

      There is a spray that can be used to temporarily deaden (freeze) the skin, but I thought that hurt worse than the needle. Actually, I think peeling the bandage off hurts worse than the needle!

      The first time the port is tapped is probably the worst because you don’t know what to expect. After the port has been tapped a few times, Emi will probably relax about it, no big deal anymore.

      Don’t get me wrong – she will still deserve an extra special treat for going through the whole ordeal. Can’t forget that! And YOU, of course, deserve an extra special treat for going through the whole ordeal too.

      Wishing you and Emi all the best

    • Anonymous
      August 30, 2006 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Kelly,

      I had my “Bard Port” inserted last December. It is placed in the left side of my chest. I was a little sore for the first couple of days but then I wasn’t even aware that it was there. You can feel a small bump under the skin.

      Accessing the port is not difficult for the nurse to do. Sterile technique is used and a special needle is placed into the port. I think it’s the best thing in the world. Mine is used for blood tests as well as IVIG treatments. I get IVIG every two weeks and have never had any discomfort or problems with my port. The surgeon said it can stay in for many years as long as it is properly taken care of, such as making sure it is flushed once a month if it is not being accessed for any other reason.

      Emi can have emla cream or the spray to freeze the area first if she is afraid it will hurt her. Ask her doctor to order that for her. But, truthfully, after a couple times of accessing the port she won’t feel anything at all. Not much pressure is used to insert the needle and that doesn’t cause any discomfort at all.

      Prayers are with Emi and your family for her surgery tomorrow. I know once all is said and done you will all be happy that you opted for the port.

      CIDP 9/05

    • Anonymous
      September 1, 2006 at 1:54 am

      Had my chest port for 4 weeks and my right arm was very sore from the surgery-the surgeon gave me Vicoden just in case.I had to put ice around the site and was careful not to turn my head too much.For ladies I was told wearing a sports bra 24/7 helped with the pain and it DID.Don’t over do it for at least 2 weeks after the surgery””
      I was told to pull my shoulders back just before the needle is inserted. This way the port is stuck out more and makes it easier.
      Some folks don’t take a shower when the needle is still in-as they go for 3 straight days of IVIG. I cover my site very well with plastic wrap and lots of tape. I use a hand held shower head to rinse off and of course to wash my hair. It depends on your situation. In this hot/humid weather I have to bathe.
      After 80 infusions I finally got the port.
      Good luck.

    • Anonymous
      September 1, 2006 at 2:52 pm

      I have to agree with what’s already been said. I’ve had no problems and the port sure beats the 2-3 hours of trying to find anything to stick a IV into. I think you’ll be very happy you went with haveing a port installed for your child…Take care…