An implanted chemo port-a-cath is an important part of chemotherapy treatment that allows doctors to easily draw blood and insert chemotherapy drugs or IV fluids into your bloodstream. This means avoiding the countless IV lines, or numerous injection sites. But, while an implanted port-a-cath may be convenient for when you undergo treatment, actually getting the port can be quite scary – especially when you don’t know what the procedure involves! Fortunately, this blog explains exactly what to expect when getting your implanted port, so you don’t have to worry.
Before the procedure
Before getting your chemo port-a-cath, you’ll likely have a few in-depth discussions with your chosen healthcare provider! This is so you know exactly what you’re getting into, the many benefits and the risks, but also the purpose of the port-a-cath. If you have any questions regarding the procedure, now’s the time to ask them. Blood work and tests may have to be taken, as not everyone is suitable for an implanted port.
During the procedure
The procedure for an implanted port is simpler than you might think! A chemo port-a-cath is a small disc, usually made of plastic or metal with a rubber seal at the top, and is inserted using a soft, flexible catheter tube. This catheter goes into a large vein to ensure treatments are directly delivered to the bloodstream, and for this reason, is generally placed below the collarbone. The entire procedure is painless, because local anaesthetic is used to numb the area.
After the procedure
Some soreness or swelling is to be expected after the procedure, but with pain medication, this is sure to dissipate quickly. Follow the directions of your healthcare provider when providing aftercare, and don’t forget to maintain your implanted port regularly. It’s recommended that you flush your port out with saline solution to prevent blood clots, and ensure everything functions as it should! Maintenance fluctuates depending on your medical needs, although it tends to be a monthly chore.
When seeking an implanted port, it’s important to consult with a trustworthy and reputable healthcare provider. At Lumina Interventional Radiology, we have long offered our specialist interventional radiology diagnosis and treatment services to customers across Auckland and all surrounding areas. If you want to know more about the different medical procedures we provide, contact us today.