• Does a Port implant hurt?

    Asked by ljleonard93 on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

    Does a Port implant hurt?

    I am having a power port done on Saturday because my veins keep blowing. I have been told that they do not hurt and are a good thing, but this is by ppl that do not have one. So I wanted to hear from anyone that has had one. I am a little nervous about it.
    Thank you,

    51 Answers from the Community

    51 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I have had two ports and loved the ease of infusions by them. They are so much less painful than using a vein. I don't think either hurt very much...they were just a bit uncomfortable the first few days. I do not have a port now because unfortunately, I was one of a very few whose body rejected them...but don't worry. Mine were both done under anesthesia and the doc was very surprised my body would not tolerate them. I'm sure you'll do fine--and definitely enjoy the convenience of its use.

      over 8 years ago
    • ddkk3's Avatar

      Make sure they give you twilight drugs to sedate you a bit. They did for me but I actually woke up around the end of them placing it in and yes, it hurt! But once you get it in, it doesn't hurt. You don't feel it unless you actually touch it. It's right at the surface of your skin. You can't see it but you can see an incision.

      Every time I get chemo, they have to poke it with the needle and yeah that does hurt. Ask for Emla cream. It's a numbing cream (prescription) that you put on the area about an hour before they use it. It helps quite a bit!

      Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I have had two, the first one quit working and had to be replaced. But if I was Dx'd again today that's the first thing I would ask for if I was going to have to have chemo again. For me, it was great, no more trying to get a stick in veins that have gotten hard, no more blood draws from them, etc.

      I kept mine for 15 years after I was done with treatment because I didn't want to give it up, just in case. Finally they talked me into having it taken out. But yes, get one!

      over 8 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      I was traumatized by my port implant experience. I was told I'd be asleep or very much out of it and unaware of what was going on. I was wide awake and really angry that the experience was different that in was supposed to be. It bothered me for a day or two then back to normal w/ no problems. Good luck to you!

      over 8 years ago
    • Kleinschleter's Avatar

      I recently had a port put in.. make sure you get vercaset (sp?) or some good drugs because they do have you awake during procedure. Glad to have the port for infusions and for weekly blood draws. The port is a little uncomfortable (1 month in) but I would still rather have this then for my veins to be destroyed possibly by the chemo treatments. Good luck with your procedure.

      over 8 years ago
    • joyce1979's Avatar

      I have a port and it does not hurt. It is a good thing.

      over 8 years ago
    • kevin_ryan's Avatar

      I have a port. Way better than being stuck in the veins, especially as I have to carry a pouch of 5FU for 48 hours after each chemo infusion. I could not imagine doing this with a needle in a vein. Never had any pain, but I am careful not to bump anything against it.
      Way better option than having needles in your veins, so don't worry about it.

      over 8 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar

      Why is it that people who never had things done to them know how it feels?
      I have to say that in this case they're 95% right. I had one put in when I started this journey and it was one of the smartest things I did cancer-wise. It makes access so much easier. Does it hurt? Not really. Of course you will likely feel some discomfort for a little while since you are being operated on but does it continue to hurt? In my case, no, not at all. I would imagine blown out veins hurt more.
      Hope this helps. Try not to worry or be afraid. I think you'll be happy once the port is in and you may think "why didn't I do this sooner?"

      over 8 years ago
    • anskysue's Avatar

      Port is so much better. I was awake but numb when they put it in. I couldn't feel a thing. You will have two incisions (I didn't know this before the procedure) - one where the port is put in and one a couple of inches above where the port is connected to the vein. I had some discomfort the first two weeks but only because I am a stomach sleeper. Ask for the numbing cream to use before they access your port. Just a little dab works. Put it on an hour before they will be accessing your port and then cover it with a piece of saran wrap so it doesn't get on your clothes. I've never felt a thing when they access mine and I only use it for chemo, not my weekly blood draws. Good luck!!

      over 8 years ago
    • PaulaT's Avatar

      I have a port. I had sedation for the actual procedure and don't remember anything!! For a couple of days after it was put in, I had pain. Actually the next day I had more pain than I expected but took some pain meds and that helped. It is a great way to get chemo. As others have mentioned, it hurts when they access it for treatment or flushing but using the numbing cream takes any pain away completely!

      over 8 years ago
    • Brielle's Avatar

      The power port has been a blessing! I can't imagine how difficult chemo would have been with my small veins. There is no pain anytime I am accessed for labs or chemo. Mine was implanted while under mild anesthesia and the pain was minimal. It was well worth any initial discomfort. The person who invented the power port must be a very compassionate genius! Good luck!

      over 8 years ago
    • sandikf's Avatar

      I am a small person so my port was tender all the time. It was sore for quite a few days after it was put in but then just tender. It does sting when it is accesed but far better than an IV each time and a lot easier.

      over 8 years ago
    • Gretchen's Avatar

      Hi! glad to know i wasn't the only one freaked out by this i had mine "installed" almost 2 weeks ago and although I wouldn't say I love it, it's much easier than any vein IV, the surgery is short and easy, you'll be a bit sore but nothing major. breathe in, breathe out, we're with you.

      over 8 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      I had a port put in before chemo. I was sedated and had a little discomfort afterwards. It does save your veins . I have had it about a year. Chemo is over but Dr suggested keeping it in. I get it flushed once a month as well as blood test drawn at this time. I was not prescribed any numbing cream but do well with out it ....needles have never bothered me much. Would recommend a port for anyone facing what we do. Best of luck! Just think of it as just another fun thing we get to experience on our journey.

      over 8 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      They're all right...it really doesn't hurt (I had two) , and it can be used for chemo and blood draws, thus avoiding a lot of other sticks. I wish someone had told me about lidocaine ointment when I was going through treatment, but even without it, it was just a small XXX & then done. You might ask whoever is putting it in to try to avoid an area where it will be rubbed by a bra strap...male docs don't often think about that.

      over 8 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I'd echo many of the other comments. I'm sure the infusions were easier because of the port. I had twilight anesthesia, and talked to the surgeon most of the time he was "installing" it. I'm sure he wished I had shut up. I was tender for a while after the port was placed, and I still have to make sure my seatbelt doesn't hit me in the wrong spot, but now it's simply an occasional inconvenient reminder of chemo. Good luck!

      over 8 years ago
    • BeckyTice's Avatar

      I had a port [called it a central line] when I had the Lyme disease. According to the oncologist it's the same thing. I have to way... the first few days it was very sore.... after that, it's actually quite excellent... a whole lot better than all those needles and definitely better than blown veins.

      Good luck.

      over 8 years ago
    • allier4's Avatar

      I had a port put in about 3 weeks after my colon surgery. I was in a pretty heavy twilight sleep. I vaguely remember answering the anesthesologist when she asked if I was doing ok or having any pain. I remember them putting a support pillow under my back - I suppose to position me better. I did have more neck and upper back pain afterwards than I expected - I think from the positioning during the insertion. I had no real pain from the incision or problems with the port itself. My nurses spray a cold spray before starting the meds. I think I'm going to ask for topical ointment though as the last two times it's been a little more uncomfortable. Other than those few things, I've had no issues. My oncologist office just gave me a pad to attach to my seat belt for some protection - the jury is still out on that.Showering on the days I'm connected requires a covering of saran wrap or something similar to keep everything dry. I usually hold a wash cloth over it too. I also ring hand bells so that has been interesting - normally I quiet my bells against the upper parts of my chest - I just had to adjust a little where I damp them. I also have put some padding over it, particularly when I am connected, as a precaution.

      over 8 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I had a love-hate relationship with my port, but like others have said, it is the best way to go. The first few days after the surgery, you may be sore. Apparently, I have "funky" veins so my procedure was complicated and I came out very, very sore. Just in case, don't plan on doing anything that may require lifting for a few days. Once it was in, however, it wasn't painful, but noticeable when I turned my head, reached out my arm, put my purse over that shoulder and slept on that side - big pain for me. I slept on my other side, but then it got pulled on....sorry guys for this description...because I was wasn't wearing a bra to support the girls. So, I slept hugging a pillow for support.

      But, through all of that, heaven forbid I need to go through that again, I would immediately have another port put in.

      over 8 years ago
    • RobbieFlores' Avatar

      I have a picc line and have had it for a year and 4 months now. It doesn't hurt and I'm so glad I have it. Good luck with your treatment :0)

      over 8 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      Initial pain of having a port put in place gives an annoying pain, but that's the worst part. It makes it so much easier when chemo is administered through it rather than an iv. I suppose it can be left in place just in case subsequent chemo is needed. Personally, I had a port in my RH shoulder because I'm left handed. Also, you may want to consider which side you wear a seat belt on as well.

      over 8 years ago
    • punker1976's Avatar

      No, just don't let your 75 lbs. Labrador jump on it while you have an IV in. Little sensitive then. Mine just kind of itches sometimes.
      This really saves your veins though, I even get labs through mine. Punker

      over 8 years ago
    • Yorkleeann's Avatar

      My husband got one resistantly. However, it's been a G-dsend since! He's had a few unforseen emergencies related to his chemo/radiation. The ability to access his port during these crisis' expedited his care and reduced the amount of pokes/sticks along the way. Also, if you should need extra nutrients and blood work as time goes, this will be a much easier method to administer them. No longer spending time and pain searching for and blowing veins will be a big relief over time. WE are looking forward to the port coming out (hopefully) in late June as a symbol to close this chapter of his battle!! :)

      over 8 years ago
    • hessteh's Avatar

      i've had a port for two years and it s a blessing over getting veins poked. i sometime have a small feeling of discomfort, but nothing major. Go do it.

      over 8 years ago
    • maralyn's Avatar

      Well thanks to lesa, i have my next question answered!!! i will be having a port put in probably next week, and feel much more at ease about it all now!!! this site has is such an amazing source of information and support, "Thank You All" for your answers and comments+++

      about 8 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar

      My port hurt the first two days after implant and then felt strange for a few weeks. But, now it is great. Definitely use the lidocaine though. You'll like it. Hang in there!

      about 8 years ago
    • ljleonard93's Avatar

      Thanks everyone, my port went really good. They were able to do an IV for the antibiotic by using an angiocath, the nurse even numbed the area first so that I would not stress because of all the other times it was painful due to my veins blowing. Anyways, my total surgery lasted 25mins....I was awake, they gave me demarol and valum, I was conversing w/ the nurses on my left while the doctor did the surgery on the right. Didn't even know he was done til they told me that it was time to move to the other bed to go back. The only part that was uncomfortable, was when they had to put these 2 cold patch things on my legs, I forget why...but they felt like ice cubes.
      After the surgery it was fine, but I made the mistake of hugging someone on that side...and it brought tears to my eyes. It hurt a lot for 2 day, today is the 3rd day and pain is only around the entry now. It does still hurt if I try to push or pull on anything. But I can sleep on it now, and put weight on that arm too.
      I go Sat to have my petscan done, im praying that there is no more cancer....that they got it all when they took the tumor out of my colon 5-1/2 wks ago. I'm wearing a bag til my chemo is done, then they will do a reversal. Not liking the bag so much....but I'm learning too.

      about 8 years ago
    • WendyLew's Avatar

      overall - I have found my port a blessing! It is way easier and less painful than regular vein use... the surgery is slightly bothersome... and the site is tender for a few days... after that, it feels 'weird' - cause it's under your skin... (if you touch it) but barely noticable. My veins have been hard to access for years and there is no comparison - I would keep the port foerever if I could!? I have finsihed chemo, but the port will stay - for months or year or whatever is right for my case? (undetermined as of yet). It is nothing to be afraid of - it is a benifit!

      about 8 years ago
    • barbaraanne's Avatar

      I just had surgery to put in my port on Monday. I am still a little sore, took some vicoden..Just took the bandages off yesterday, did not look to bad at all, still have the steri strips on. I was completely knocked out for the procedure, which I would definitely recommend. I figet too much..I see my Oncologist tomorrow to get my start date for chemo (again) the 1st time around I did not have a port. My veins are silm to begin with, but after the previous chemo treatments, the port was a must my Onc said. I'm glad I read some of the comments because I will ask for a numbing cream that several people have mentioned..

      about 8 years ago
    • crazywoman's Avatar

      I got a power port on the morning of my 1st chemo, & it didn't hurt at all. They sedated me just prior to putting it in & numbed me up really well, so I actually dozed during the process. Now the room was very cold, so I did get extra blankets when I asked. They explained exactly what they were doing & asked me during the process whether or not I had any pain. I was very blessed & the port is so worth it. I hate getting stuck so much otherwise, as the veins don't always cooperate. Good luck, we're all with you.

      about 8 years ago
    • drisinger60's Avatar

      My power port was done June 10, 2013. Other than having a little sensitivity at the implant site, I have not experienced any problems and it does not interfere with my day to day routines. I was also able to get a prescription for Lidocaine and Prilocaine Cream to help with the sensitivity (especially in preparation for chemo) when needed.

      about 8 years ago
    • luvscorpiogrl's Avatar

      Don't worry about a thing it doesn't hurt it doesn't take that long to insert one I still have mine in and its been a year and a half and I almost forget that its in there. It's so munch better getting blood drawn from the port instead of getting poked on the arm. I'm a Survivor and you will also be one, my port was in planted on my right side of my chest cant really see it you just get used to it after a while. It sounds scarier than it seems. Hope it goes well I had a excellent team do it for me. Even other nurses liked the job my team did. Mine was done at U.C.S.D. Thornton in La Jolla Ca. I was nervous too. They were so kind and gentle and they took good care of me. Good Luck sending you prayers!!

      about 8 years ago
    • luvscorpiogrl's Avatar

      Don't worry about a thing it doesn't hurt it doesn't take that long to insert one I still have mine in and its been a year and a half and I almost forget that its in there. It's so much better getting blood drawn from the port instead of getting poked on the arm. I'm a Survivor and you will also be one, my port was in planted on my right side of my chest cant really see it you just get used to it after a while. It sounds scarier than it seems. Hope it goes well I had a excellent team do it for me. Even other nurses liked the job my team did. Mine was done at U.C.S.D. Thornton in La Jolla Ca. I was nervous too. They were so kind and gentle and they took good care of me. Good Luck sending you prayers!!

      about 8 years ago
    • Connie312's Avatar

      I have had 3 ports, none of which hurt when they were being implanted or after. The first one, in my chest, I had for only about a year, we thought we would no longer need it, but I had my 3rd occurance of Breast Cancer and turned out that they found Ovarian Cancer too. They implanted a second port in my chest, they only put me in twilight sedation, and I did not feel a thing, just make sure if you do have any feeling, at all, in the area they are placing it, you ask them for more numbing medicine. I was awake the entire time and had very little discomfort afterwards, it is an incision afterall, so you will have a little discomfort from that, but they gave me pain meds that helped with that. The 3rd port was in my abdomine, necessary for treatments in my abdomine for the Ovarian Cancer. They implanted this one during my surgery. I still have the 2nd chest port, even though we believe I am done with the Cancer thing, it is still helpful when I go for blood work and CatScans. My veins were destroyed by my first chemo treatments, so the port makes it much easier and I am hardly aware it is there. Good luck, hope things go well for you!

      about 8 years ago
    • Griffin's Avatar

      I have one and it was done as a local implant. It took about 45 minutes I was afraid at first but I prayed and did breathing exercising, it went well. They were able to use my port the very next day for my chemo treatment. I don't let it get wet however because it can cause an infection. Hope this helps.

      about 8 years ago
    • ArleneB's Avatar

      I've had my port about ten months. I was completely under when they out it in ad was sore for a day or two after. It's wonderful-I have only one good vein left in my entire body so the port is used for everything. I have the numbing cream and it works well. I still wear a swim suit and scooped neck tees audit doesn't even show. You have to look really hard to see the tiny one inch scar. Most people don't even know I have one. Go for it - you won't be sorry!!!

      about 8 years ago
    • Jimig's Avatar

      No issues with my port yet..been since march 2012 to date..

      about 8 years ago
    • shortstop413's Avatar

      Lesa, I have had a port for over four years. It is a Godsend if you have to have regular blood draws or IV treatments. For me, the initial implanting was a short in house surgery that was done in a couple of hours. I had a chemo treatment the next day and have had no problems of any kind with the port.

      about 8 years ago
    • Marisol's Avatar

      I was encouraged to wear it and I am glad to say without noticing it a Port implant since September 2012 before starting chemo and it is still there although my chemo ended in February 2013. It has proven extremely useful not only for chemo but also for prior blood tests. It will be the last device in my body I can do without, it is still there! It was built in under sedation with minimal surgery and invisible stitches. I highly recommend it. I do not wear my usual necklace because it would be annoying, not dangerous, to feel it bouncing above the small bulge. I have been spared bruises and discomfort in the otherwise healthy arm.

      about 8 years ago
    • Wendysue's Avatar

      I didn't think it hurt. A little uncomfortable until you get used to it. Make sure the put a numbing spray or cream on it before they use the port though

      about 8 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      Glad to hear your port experience was a good one! I hope it continued to be so.

      For those of you still seeking information or advice on getting a port for chemo, I have two articles you might want to look at.

      The first is a beginner's guide on getting a port for chemo:


      The second is a blog article on "To port or not to port?" where WhatNexters weigh in on chemo ports:


      I hope you find this information useful! As always thank you for your input.

      almost 8 years ago
    • camplaffalot's Avatar

      I just LOVE my port! His name is Harry, and he was wonderful for quite a few months. Then he got picky, picky and wouldn't GIVE. He takes well, though, so I've kept him. A port study showed that the intake is right up against the vein wall, so he probably won't return to giving. But I'll keep him for now. The doctors and nurses are amused that I've named him and always ask about him.

      over 7 years ago
    • Mona6518's Avatar

      I have crappy veins and miss my Port :(
      If I need to do IV chemo again, it's going right back in.

      Having it put in wasn't that bad - it's a day surgery (no overnight hospital stay needed). Sore for a few days but that was about it.

      and for the love of all things, do not let small kids or dogs head butt you there :)

      over 7 years ago
    • stormy91649's Avatar

      I have had several ports over the years. First the heart port upper left chest which I found uncomfortable due to bra strap area seat belt etc. I then went for picc line.Very comfortable but slot of upkeep with nightly flushing for two years and it had to be dry thus no swimming.BUT I just had something called a passport put in and I love it. It is just like the heart port but placed inside arm above the elbow. You are not even put "under sedation" like the heart port.And this summer I will find my way to the beach or pool with joy!

      over 7 years ago
    • bhurdlow's Avatar

      I absolutely love love love my power port and while it ached a little for a few days, it was nothing compared to the pain from my blown veins and the multiple sticks it would take to get an IV started, not to mention the burning from infusions into the veins in my hands - meh. I hope the procedure goes well for you and you love your powerport as much as I love mine!

      over 7 years ago
    • scasey's Avatar

      I had the port put in on
      the same day I started chemo. Yes it hurt. They only used novacaine and i felt everything. wanted to scream, but I just pulled up my big girl panties and endured it.

      over 6 years ago
    • lcallear's Avatar

      I am new here and wanted to thank everyone for the info. I had my port put in during my hospital stay from surgery to remove tumor. I have not received any treatments and am glad I read this as I would not of known to ask for lidocaine before treatments. I go 4/13 to have sutures removed from surgery and to discuss the power port so will surely ask about the lodocaine. Thanks!!!

      over 6 years ago
    • nametoolong's Avatar

      They gave me a drug and said I wouldn't remember the surgery- it didn't work on me, I remember everything. The surgery didn't hurt however, but a day or two later (probably when the drugs wore off) it was VERY sore. I find it freaky though and do not like to touch it. DEFINITELY use the Lidocane cream (otherwise it feels like the needle is a thumbtack) before they access the port. MUCH better than the IV experience- too many people are brutal when putting in those needles!!!

      about 6 years ago
    • akid4fr's Avatar

      I am amazed by most of your responses. They make me wonder if there is something wrong with my port insertion!

      Granted, it's only been 5 days, yet my arm is useless because I get intense pain when I raise it above my head. I can't bend over to pick up something off the floor because of sharp, radiating pain in my chest (on the side of the port). Sleeping is a problem so I'm sleeping on my back and careful not to roll over. I'm taking pain pills most of the time which does help a lot.

      I'm just wondering when the pain will stop! Is something wrong with it? I don't see my oncologist until my first chemo in a week. I was going to wait a few more days to call him.

      over 4 years ago
    • Tams' Avatar

      Akid4fr, you're not weird. I had a bad experience with the doctor putting my port in. I was not given anything for anxiety ahead of time. I wish I would of been in twilight! She first tried.my left arm, as I'm right handed. I was poked with lidocaine on the upper inside of my arm 8 times. Twice she hit nerves. OMG! Then she stated that My veins kept rolling out of the way. So she then had them switched over to my right arm. After my 3rd request for something to relax me they gave me 1mg of Verced. After the second attempt the doctor got it. So both of my arms are sore as all get out. Ask for twilight, I will demand it if I ever have to have another one inserted.

      about 4 years ago
    • Braz's Avatar

      Just a little post-op pain at the incision, not any worse than a couple of stitches. After that, no problem, even when used, much less than an IV insertion

      over 2 years ago

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