• How big a deal is getting a port?

    Asked by Keith59 on Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    How big a deal is getting a port?

    Are ports painful weeks....months after? I think I may have to get one.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • myronbob's Avatar

      of course everyone is different but I had twilight sedation , zero pain discomfort before during after . no problems 10 months on . good luck . bob

      over 6 years ago
    • Hoping4ever's Avatar

      For me ,it was a piece of cake . It was done by avery good surgeon with no side effects what so ever. I consider it the best invention of all . It saved me the pain of going through the conventional method. I believe strongly that every cancer patient should be encouraged to install it .

      over 6 years ago
    • alimccalli's Avatar

      Pretty simple procedure...some minor discomfort...but for getting treatment it was the best thing ever. I have bad veins anyway, and the port was pretty much a life saver. No more painful poking around for veins and they could use it for everything - treatment, blood draws, transfusions, other IV infusions, etc.

      I had mine for 10 months...it was never really painful, but the area was somewhat sensitive at times...seat belts were a pain, but I had a 'port pillow' that helped there...it was however well worth any minor discomfort to me.

      over 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I was only sore for a week or so, nothing much to it. I had to have a second one put in because the first quit working, even that wasn't much of a big deal, they done it in the operating room and took the bad one out then put the new one in. Even that wasn't sore for a week or so. They are sooooo much worth it. I kept mine for 15 years after treatment was over in spite of every time I went to a doctor they would say I need to get that out, I kept it just in case my 3 time came around. Well, I had it taken out finally, then two years later my 3rd round with cancer came. Turns out this time I didn't have to have chemo so not much of a big deal, but still all the blood draws I've had over the last 5.5 years would have been much easier.
      I think you will get a consensus from this that most are happy with having it.

      over 6 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      Hi Keith, I had my port put in in July. They had told me "discomfort" for a couple days. For me, it hurt like heck for about a week. Now, I would say it is a bit uncomfortable but nothing to complain about. Most people seem to have zero issues. I have noticed that it is often almost invisible, but not in my case. You can see the tube that runs to my neck and my skin is reddish along there & the port site itself has the port sticking out & always looks sort of bruised. I do believe I am atypical as seems to be the case with everything between me & this stupid cancer. Anyway, even it my case it wasn't a big deal.

      over 6 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I was not given a choice, I was told I had to get a port because the chemo drugs I had to take would damage my skin if I took them via IV. It was put in with twilight sedation, minimum pain, I think I just used Advil. I was a little protective of it because if somebody slammed into it, it would hurt, but otherwise, no pain. That being said, it became my lifeline, and I grew a strange attachment to it. I had it removed 7 months after my last treatment.

      over 6 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      My port gave me grief once in awhile. Sometimes it would be tender after a chemo session, which usually was all day (they would draw blood and leave the needle in for chemo, but doctor appt came in between). I usually had the needle in from 7:00 am til at least 6:00 pm., so yes it would be tender. Then, I would need blood transfusions and hydration appts that would need to access the port after it was already sore. But, still better than them trying to find a vein. I can't even get blood drawn these days.

      over 6 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar

      My breast surgeon put mine in and took it out. I don't recall any problems, really, other than minor soreness, at first. She had me use Vitamin E oil on it after it was out, to reduce scarring and that helped.

      over 6 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar

      Thanks for all the feedback. My right arm is the only one they use for everything because of lymph node removal on left side. My veins are shot. I'm gonna suggest a port to my onc.

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      Copied from my answer to Stylerman:

      I am very thankful for my port, but was sore for a few days after the surgery. Chewing was a little dicey the first couple of days afterward, because it used neck muscles near to where my port line met my jugular vein. I also used one hand to support my head when I lay down and got up, to use my neck muscles as little as possible. Again, that was just for a few days.

      I didn't have numbing cream, but the chemo nurse used numbing spray before accessing the port. (I had my first chemo two days after port insertion.)

      I recommend a port pillow that attaches to your seat belt; it's made a big difference for me. I got mine here:

      over 6 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar

      I had a power port which was put on the inside of my left upper arm, the surgeon gave me a local anesthetic and it was installed completely before I even knew it! I had to wear a plastic sleeve over my arm to shower for awhile, no water on it for days, it bruised and swelled a little bit but overall it was very simple surgery and very easy to recover from! Getting it out was even easier and faster!!! So no worries about getting a port these days, they are very fast and easy to do and they save our veins! Most of the soreness was gone in about 2 to 3 weeks but I was a little sore for maybe 4 to 5 weeks afterwards?
      Most ports work perfectly and it is rare for patients to have any problems with them.....
      But this is what you should watch out for:
      After it is put in of course it will be swollen, red, and bruised, but if it keeps getting worse or if it feels hot immediately call the surgeon! Or if it swells up again after healing a bit, or if it is very painful, any heat, if you are running a fever but it is possible to have infections without fevers!!! So never assume that you are alright if you aren’t running a fever.
      Anything that looks like an infection probably is an infection and needs to be seen immediately. Which means right then and there, go to the doctor or the ER!
      And besides infections, ports can cause blood clots and those can be deadly. So again watch out for pain and swelling, but blood clots usually make the veins more visible and pronounced in the area where they are. ( usually but not always, so you always need an U/S to see a blood clot ) So if all of a sudden you have some swelling and if your veins look darker around the swelling than they do anywhere else- that means that you have to RUN not walk to the emergency room. Call your doctor of course as well.
      Usually problems with ports are handled with the surgeon who installed them by the way and not the oncologist, but you should contact your oncologist as well if you are having any problems. Again, problems are rare so you should be fine, but honestly I got both infections and blood clots from my power port so it had to be taken out. Oh well!

      over 6 years ago
    • Joeyb's Avatar

      I have a power port and I'm so glad that I have it saves me from getting stuck 4 to 6 times when they try to access my veins. I found placement to be very difficult. I was only given a Lidocaine (which stung when injected) for the port placement. Very uncomfortable with all the pushing of inserting the line into my neck then when they placed the actual port into my right chest ,all I can say is OUCH!!! Was sent home with Tylenol for pain relief (not much help) and was sore for at least a month afterwards.

      over 6 years ago
    • MoveIt2012's Avatar

      I have a power port put in by my surgeon. Best advice given. Small amount of discomfort for two to three days. I will say the first time it is flushed the sensation was weird to me but that's all I've noticed.

      over 6 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I had complications due to funky anatomy and felt like I had been punched by a boxer, but in the long run, it was the best decision (I actually had no choice, needed a port for my type of chemo). Considering all that I had gone through, it was just another bump in the road. Just don't plan anything physically rigorous for several days after the port placement....no heavy lifting, no flag football with your friends. I needed to keep a big personal bubble around me because it would have been painful if someone bumped up again me. Well worth it, however, when they don't have to go poking around for a vein.

      over 6 years ago
    • Stylerman's Avatar

      Keith, my port goes in next week so I will follow up with you afterwards. But after my discussion with the group I would not hesitate to get one the benefits out weight any negatives that might be associated with it. I was hospitalized for seven days with Colonectomy and the veins in my right arm collapsed and are now damaged because of all the IVs. For me this is a lifesaver and there will be no hesitation for me to get it.

      over 6 years ago
    • FemaleinMotion's Avatar

      I loved my Bard Power Port, Keith59. I had it inserted during my mastectomy (twofer!) and it was mildly uncomfortable for about 2-3 days. An ice pack is the perfect remedy. Be sure they place it well below your clavicle. That seems to be a problem area for several folks I know. God bless!

      over 6 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar

      See if they can do a pic line instead not as evasive. I had one and it worked out great they took blood and did transfusion with it. No surgery necessary unless you don't have good veins like me they had to send me to surgery. Good luck.


      over 6 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar

      At first, I felt like I wanted to claw the port out from under my skin - like an animal that knows something foreign is there. But mine is so useful for receiving the infusions during scans, and also for periodic blood draws that I chose to leave it in well after my course of ipilimumab infusions. I go in once a month for a quick "flush" to make sure it stays free flowing, but I intend to keep it as long as I have scans every few months.
      And there is a strange "band of brothers" effect from wearing a port. The bump is slightly visible, and cancer patients proudly show each other their port sites. It's a badge of honor amongst us, and it always makes me feel deep empathy when I see that bump on another cancer patient.
      Constance Emerson Crooker

      over 6 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar

      LOVED my port. I miss it. I named her "Prickella"
      I named my drainage tubes Lenny and Squiggy. lol

      over 6 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar

      Thanks again guys for all the great feedback. Seems it a great choice for me with bad veins. Don't know about naming it though.....we will see.

      over 6 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      Thank you for sharing your question. Here are a few articles on chemo ports that you or others may find helpful.



      Best of luck,

      over 6 years ago
    • Phoenix76's Avatar

      I was put into twilight sedation, except they had to up the dose because I wasn't responding to it. I felt some pain when the surgeon inserted the port in the pocket of skin, even though they used local anaesthesia. The port is fairly low on my chest, which I'm unhappy about because the seat belt hits it and is pretty irritating. I was in pain for about a week, lots of black & blue marks & felt like I had been punched really hard in the chest. However, it's worked perfectly and is saving my veins; once the chemo is over, it still has to be flushed about once a month, which takes about 5 minutes. Glad I got it, but I'm always aware of it.

      over 6 years ago

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