Cheemo Therapy

If you require chemotherapy, then portacath insertion is one way to administer treatment. If you are still wondering what portacaths are and what role they play in chemotherapy, you have come to the right place.

In this blog, we will discuss portacaths and their role in chemotherapy in more detail! So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.

What are Portacaths?

Portacaths are also known as an implantable port or a subcutaneous port. The word itself, ‘portacath’, is a combination of the terms ‘portal’ and ‘catheter’.

A portacath is a small reservoir that is inserted under your skin, with a line/tube that is placed in a large vein that is close to your heart.

The port, or reservoir, of the portacath allows medication through (inserted using a narrow needle into the site of the port). As a result, portacaths provide a convenient and direct pathway into your veins, which is ideal for regular intravenous (IV) treatments.

What is the Role of Portacaths in Chemotherapy?

Portacaths are long lasting, with a lifespan of 2 to 6 years. This means that they are a great way to administer IV treatments over a long period of time, such as for chemotherapy. With a portacath, nurses are able to simply administer treatment into the port, saving them time from having to identify the best vein for injection. The drugs easily travel from the port into the tubing and then into your bloodstream.

The Benefits of Portacaths for Chemotherapy

Compared to other IV lines, portacaths offer a number of advantages that you might want to consider. These include:

  • Not noticeable – portacaths sit under the skin and can be felt, but they are hardly seen (unless you are really thin) in comparison to a central venous catheter/central line 
  • Easy maintenance – portacaths are usually easy to take care of, especially when at home
  • Lower infection rate – the risk of infection for portacaths is generally lower than other IV lines

Are you interested in our portacath insertion for chemotherapy at Lumina Interventional Radiology? If so, we recommend first speaking with your oncologist to determine whether portacath is suitable for you. For more information or if you have any questions about our portacath insertion for chemotherapy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.