• I find out this week if I need chemo. I know if I do, I will get a portal. Is a chest portal better than an arm one? I need 4 treatments

    Asked by grandmajean5 on Saturday, January 5, 2013

    I find out this week if I need chemo. I know if I do, I will get a portal. Is a chest portal better than an arm one? I need 4 treatments

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • Modern's Avatar

      Yes get a chest port. I never got an arm port myself but talking to people who did said the were more uncomfortable than chest ports.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar

      I have an upper chest port and it has worked well with no mobility restriction.

      almost 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I've had patients who have had arm ports and didn't care for them. I've had an upper chest port for almost a year and a half and I have had no problems with mobility restrictions or pain.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      I have had a chest port for the better part of 8 years. The only potential drawback is that seatbelts can ride on them so if you drive more than you ride you might want to get it on the right side and if you ride mostly then the left side works better. Good luck

      almost 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac (Best Answer!)

      I suspect you are actually talking about 2 different things. A port is surgically implanted and is a "button" that provides needle access to an attached catheter through which blood can be drawn and infusions can be injected. They are typically place in the upper chest near the collar bone. A picc line is similar but the connection point is external so you have one end of it that protrudes out of your arm. There are pros and cons to each. A picc line is a bit less invasive since only the catheter end is inside your body, but because of that, it can be more prone to infections when used long term (more than a few days) and it can be very annoying having this thing sticking out of your arm 24/7 for the duration. A port is outpatient surgery, usually under local anesthesia or conscious sedation. One in place, it is less obtrusive and can remain in place indefinitely, or easily removed at any time. You may only need it for 4 chemo infusions, but if you expect to have any other infused treatments such as targeted or hormone therapy, or periodic blood tests over a longer period of time, you may want to consider the port and save the wear and tear on your veins.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I had a PICC line in my arm and now have a Smart Port in my chest. I love my Smart Port (as much as anyone can love a port...hahaha) but absolutely hated the PICC. I had mine put in on the right side so my seatbelt doesn't bother it.

      almost 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Myn port was put in my upper left arm....I didn't get a say in where the port went...I had a bilat, so was told it could not go in my chest and since my cancer was on the right side and had axillary dissection, the left side was it....I don't remember it being bothersome....

      almost 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      My port is on the left side of my chest. (I had no choice.) Seatbelt did bother me, especially at first. I bought a padded seatbelt cover which helps. My port has been great for infusions and blood draws. So much easier than getting IVs.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I love my power port. :) It's on the upper right side of my chest. The procedure to place it in me wasn't really painful. The first couple of days I did have to take Tylenol for a little pain. I was used to sleeping on my right side but with the port I couldn't. At least not for the first couple of months. Now I can. :) I didn't have any issues with the seat belt. I used a cross body purse and I was so used to wearing it over my right shoulder. It took me a while but I finally got used to wearing across my left shoulder instead. :) The only issues I've had are mild itching around the scar area. Also, for some reason the scar healed as a keloid. This is not common so maybe just happened to me. Not very nice looking, looks a bit pink but I just put a bit of concealer over it to hide it a bit. I say get a chest port. :) It's the easiest.

      almost 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I had a bilateral -- 8 treatments -- and my port was placed on my upper right chest below collarbone. It was not uncomfortable. However, there were times that I was aware of it -- especially when my one year old great granddaughter would throw her head back while on my lap -- Ouch!!! A little concern with seatbelt now & then but not a big deal for me. My choice would be a chest portal -- but as always -- the choice has to be yours with the guidance of your doctors because you are the one that has to live with that choice. Good Luck!

      almost 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Just to clarify, the port placement in the chest for breast cancer depends on two things: The side your primary cancer is on, and the location in your body of the artery in which the catheter terminates. Your port will be placed on the opposite side of you primary cancer. This reduces the risk of lymphedema (same as not using the arm on your malignant breast for blood draws or taking blood pressure). The exact placement on the upper chest is so that the catheter tube has the right angle and amount of tension/slack when inserted into your artery.

      In any case, it does not prohibit a bilateral mastectomy, whether the port side breast removal is medical or prophylactic. In all but rare cases, the port placement on the port placement is high enough that it is not in the field of surgical removal, and in the rare cases where it is, it is simply removed or replaced at the same time as the mastectomy.

      almost 4 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I had the chest port. Annoying sometimes but so worth it! Good luck!

      almost 4 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      I had a PICC-line (upper left arm). My oncologist felt it was sufficient for four infusions. However, it broke after the third one so an IV was used thereafter. That would have been fine except the doctor decided to go with six infusions instead of four. The oncology nurses had difficulty with my veins, especially that last treatment. We managed but I would recommend the port over the PICC-line.

      almost 4 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      I have a power port. Nobody asked me if I wanted it, they just scheduled me for day surgery. It can be a bit annoying, and does stick out, but so what? When I was in the hospital for HIPEC/CRS surgery, I blessed the thing each and every day. I have tiny veins, and if they had done all those blood tests from my arms, I would have been a mess. For some reason, the surgeon installed my port very close to my shoulder, but eventually, it worked ok.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      I personally think a portal is the best way to go. Who wants to be 'pricked" with a needle every time they have a chemo treatment or have to give a blood sample. Go fot it.

      almost 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma page.