• My care team has recommended that I get a port because of injection site scarring. How many have good experience with their ports?

    Asked by mgm48 on Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    My care team has recommended that I get a port because of injection site scarring. How many have good experience with their ports?

    I've seen people express discomfort and problems with ports but few say anything positive. I'm wondering if the negatives out weigh the positives just because we all look for solutions to the problems and don't talk about the good. Just wondering if the port is really a good thing from my view or the nurses?

    61 Answers from the Community

    61 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      I had a love/hate relationship with my port. I'm glad I had it because my arm veins were then NOT used for chemo treatments. This means, I still have good veins. Also, the stabber never has to hunt for your vein. The needle is simply popped into the port, and voila! You're ready to go.

      The downside was that it was on my left side, which was the side I used for my messenger bag... and it was perfectly positioned to get irritated by the seat belt on the driver's side of our car... and I always felt this pulling sensation... And I couldn't happily sleep on my tummy...

      At the end of the day, I'd do the port again. Hopefully, however, I will NEVER have to even consider it!

      Good luck!
      Lee

      about 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      My only complaint is that outside of my chemo team, I can't get anybody to use it. I had a MUGA scan yesterday and the tech managed to create a huge bruise on my arm that is swollen and discolored because he wouldn't use my port to draw blood. Only than that, I have had only positive experiences. All through chemo and continuing now for my Herceptin infusions, it has never been a problem. So far it has been used about 25 times. That means 25 times I haven't had to be stuck repeatedly to draw blood or do infusions. And with my rolling veins, those 25 times would most likely have translated to about 100 needle stick and bruises. I have had no discomfort or problems with my port.

      about 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      I feel the same way as leepenn. I also had a love-hate relationship with my port. I couldn't wait for it to come out, but I would do it again if I had to. It was a vein-saver!

      First of all, I couldn't have received my type of chemo without a port (I had a portable chemo that I was hooked up to for 46 hours - ugh!!), but I really appreciated the ease of the needle sticks for both blood work and my treatments. It was a small puncture poke rather than a stinging needle stick. No missed veins, no poke-throughs. So easy.

      On the downside, I couldn't sleep or carry my purse on that side and I could feel the tug of the catheter when I turned my head at certain angles.

      Small price to pay. So glad I had it.

      about 5 years ago
    • PhillieG's Avatar
      PhillieG

      WOW, I've rarely heard negative things about the port other than some discomfort until you heal and get used to it.

      I had mine installed within a week of diagnosis, it was by far one of the best decisions I made. Other than the area being sore for a while and the blood return being inconsistent at times, it's been wonderful.

      I've never gotten chemo through the veins in my arm but I hear it's XXX on the veins. I've had my port in for over 8 years with no major issues at all.

      I HIGHLY recommend getting one.
      -phil

      about 5 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar
      CarolLHRN

      I have a port and it is the best thing I have ever done. I have never had anyone say they wouldn't use it except in the OR but as soon as I was in recovery, the IV team and accessed the port and pulled out all the IV's. I can cover it easily when it is accessed and still shower. I never have to get stuck more than once for blood or IV's which is really nice. Once it's accessed, I don't even realize I have anything going on. I was on chemo continuous for 6 weeks and it was a true life saver.

      One thing to note is I had a power port instead of a regular port. By having the power port, it can be used for tests like CT scans with contrast where a regular port can't be used.

      about 5 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar
      nobrand

      I'm with all the others; the port is a great thing. I just had mine installed a week and a half ago, so the surgery is still fresh on my mind-- it's relatively minor, and it's not a painful procedure. I do have a love/hate relationship with it, because it is something foreign in my body, but I love more than hate it.

      Compared to a needle stick in the arm, having the port accessed is easy and quick. I'm glad I went for it!

      about 5 years ago
    • LoneSpartan's Avatar
      LoneSpartan

      I had a port for over two years during my treatments. The positives about it FAR out weigh the negatives. The negatives were the discomfort with seatbelts/backpacks/sleeping positions and also that it could not be used for CT scans with contrast. There were many positives for me though. It was much easier for the nurses to keep clean as it required changing less often versus an IV in the arm. When in the hospital, I found that it was not getting in the way nearly as much as an IV in the arm since all the tubing was tucked in under my shirt and I could use both arms freely. I did get a round of chemo via the IV one time while I was on TPN via the port and the chemo had a bad burning sensation in the arm! All my chemo treatments via the port never bothered me. Needle sticks were not a problem either, as it was not a "hunt and stick" for the nurse. They just line up the needle, you take a deep breath, then they put the needle in with a quick pinch feeling.

      I would ask for a port again without a doubt!
      ~jason

      about 5 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar
      Bashiemn

      I went through half of my chemo treatments without a port. I did 3 days in a row every three weeks for 4 sessions, all on IV's. Then I switched to a new drug that was more dangerous if it leaked and I had 1 session without a port and was urged by my nurses to get the port, so I did. I've had it now for a couple of months and about to do my 4th session with it. I'll give you the pros and cons that I experienced.

      Cons: You get a battle wound scar on your chest. (this could be a pro since it will remind you of the war you fought!) The port was pretty painful at first because it was bruised. You have to be careful that no one uses it who shouldn't because of possible infection. You may experience discomfort at times - reaching for things, and if you are like me, if you are a side sleeper.

      Pros: Extremely small chance of drug leakage, compared to IVs (I had Etoposide leake into my tissue when I had an IV - luckily this is just an "irritant" and didnt' cause tissue damage). When I had IV's sometimes it would take a lot longer for the chemo, because I was "valvy" so it felt like razor blades when the fluids would go into my veins. They had to adjust the flow based on what I could tolerate and sometimes that meant I was there longer. My arms woudl get so cold I had to put ice packs on them and wrap them in blankets. That meant my arm was not free to do anything like use a computer, read a book, play card games, etc. With the port, I can do a lot more during chemo. I just get my port accessed when I get a PET CT scan, and then I don't have to get an IV for that either. They also draw all yoru bloodwork out of the port, so you don't have to do all of the needle XXX.

      I will say that I was terrified of getting the port, having had a highschool classmate that died from an infection from her port (I do not know the circumstances). I waited it out a LONG time and only did it because the new drug could have detroyed my skin, bloodvessels, and bone if it leaked. It was a cost benefit situation. In retrospect, I really wish I had done it right away. It would have saved a lot of hassle, frustration, and pain. But in a way, I'm glad I experienced both ends of the spectrum.

      Good luck on your decision.

      about 5 years ago
    • shineon6's Avatar
      shineon6

      I am so glad I had the port put in! It was pretty painful procedure, but it has been a dream since . It has been used not only for chemo but also for blood draws... I don't think I will have it removed. I don' even know it is there, until I look in the mirror . Good luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • NancyK's Avatar
      NancyK

      I have had my port for almost seven years and I love it. It is placed somewhat lower in my chest so that it doesn't show in my clothes, doesn't get rubbed by seatbelt, etc. In fact, no one would even know it's there. Used it for chemo, blood draws, Boniva and iron infustions, etc. I have it flushed every 4-6 weeks if it wasn't used in that time for draws or infusions. I have an excellent team that can easily access it, but have had uncomfortable experiences with other medical personnel who are not used to ports and if they practice too long on the port, I always have my arm veins to offer. There are also numbing creams and Lydocaine to help. It's been a good choice for me.

      about 5 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      I had major pain and bruising from my port for the first 2 weeks, but since then, I don't even know it's there. And it definitely makes it easier for me and the nurses when I have blood draws every week and chemo every 21 days. I write about my experiences including the port implantation on my blog, nancebeth.blogspot.com

      about 5 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      Thanks SOOO much. It is as I expected we see so many who are looking for help with a problem that it sometimes seems that there are nothing but problems. I've had no real issue with the IV or blood draws but if the team is concerned about the vein scars being a problem in the future, the port may make it easier for all of us. And yes I have had the quadruple poke experience (particularly in the CT room) so while I tolerate that well, if my veins can't take the Docetaxel I'll put up with some temporary "stuff" for a longer term benefit.
      Keep it positive and smile :)

      about 5 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar
      Ivy

      Having the port implanted is more painful than the docs admit, and for me, it was painful for about two weeks after that. I still can't sleep well on my side unless I am perfectly positioned as the port rubs against the bone. Also, the port is sore for about a week after each chemotherapy. Can't wait to have it removed. That said, it is worth it to have the port as it makes infusions so much easier and less damaging to veins. The main advice is that you should get a team that does implantation constantly to do the procedure to limit any mishaps. Try for someone who "does this procedure all day every day" if possible. Good luck!

      about 5 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar
      attypatty

      Dear mgm48:
      I loved having my port, other than the one time the one nurse missed it and pushed into my chest (that hurt). The surgery was ok and recovery took a little time, but it beat having my veins assaulted for chemotherapy. It was enough that my veins had to endure all the blood tests. In addition, when I had to have transfusions, the port was a blessing because they took as long as 7 hours. With the port, it was a lot easier to move around while being "hooked up". So I would encourage you to have the port put in.
      Fight On,
      Attypatty

      about 5 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      So far and in less than one week with a port, I don't find it problematic. There is some necessary adjustments required with my seat belt but, other than that, it's good to go. My veins were difficult to access so the port is a godsend.

      about 5 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      I have had my port for over four years and have had zero problems with it. It is a Bard "Power Port" Of course, I'd like to think that it was the implanting physician who was responsible for its success, since I was very fortunate to have Dr. Robert Hickman, inventor of the Hickman catheter, implant it in Seattle. Zero infections. Actually, I had no option, as some of the chemo agents used could not be given via peripheral (I.V.) access. Had any of it leaked, necrosis would have started, and I might have lost my arm.

      Dr. Hickman told me that some folks have had their ports for ten years with no problems. The procedure was a snap, and only a bit of tenderness at the insertion site for a few days. It is best to dilute the chemo drugs in as large a blood flow as possible, to limit their potential to damage your veins. During infusion, it is also an advantage, since your movements are less restricted, and you retain full use of your arms.

      Its advantages far outweigh any disadvantages, and some patients are fortunate enough to have it out at the end of treatment. I will remain in treatment, most likely, for the rest of my life. I am happy to be alive, so therefore, no complaints.

      about 5 years ago
    • janigirl's Avatar
      janigirl

      Due to breast cancer on both sides, I still have my port. It has been a part of me for the past 18 months. I actually forget its there. It is easier than using my arms. With all you have to worry about, try not to think too much about the port. Good luck to you and I am sending prayers.

      about 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar
      abrub

      In my opinion, a port is the only way to go - much more convenient that an IV. You can numb it up prior to their accessing it (harder to do with an IV, since you don't know exactly where they're going to find your vein.) Minor surgery in (even with complications that I had) and minor to remove. You can express a preference for location if you think to (right or left side.)

      about 5 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar
      Lirasgirl33

      I hate IV needles. I love my port! :) A bit of discomfort after implantation but nothing a little Tylenol couldn't make go away. Getting chemo couldn't be easier. I've had my port in for about 3 months and have only felt minor discomfort once in a while. Mainly when I sleep on my side, but not always. I haven't had issues with the seat belt when I drive since it's on the right side of my chest. I have a one inch scar to show. Unfortunately I can't say that I forget it's there. My body reminds me every now and then that it knows there's a foreign object in my body, and causes me some slight "stinging" or itching in the area. Overall, I love it. :)

      about 5 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar
      RuthAnne

      Major thumbs up on the port here. It am reminded it is there from time to time when something bumps up against it, but overall, it's fantastic.

      about 5 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar
      RuthAnne

      Major thumbs up on the port here. It am reminded it is there from time to time when something bumps up against it, but overall, it's fantastic.

      about 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      One more for positive review on the port. I've had two. One quit working, but it was swapped for another and I kept it for 10 years after I quit treatment. Dr's kept telling me I had to have it taken out, I kept telling them, I don't think so, I'll just keep it. I liked it much better than getting stuck all the time.

      Good luck to you!!

      about 5 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      I have had a port for a few weeks and consider it a blessing since my veins were small and difficult to access. The port can be covered with a blouse, scarf or shirt. Main thing is to have it flushed out every so often as directed by one's oncologist. My seat belt does need to be adjusted at times, but the trade-off is well worth it.

      about 5 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      Again Thanks to all of you who responded. Surgery was yesterday and I can report that except for the tape on my neck (makes me feel like I have a stiff neck) all is well so far. I have a relatively high pain threshold so I would describe it as "uncomfortable" at the moment. I get to see it in action tomorrow as cycle 4 starts at 7AM. I'll give it a grade after the chemo tomorrow.

      about 5 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      Well it's been used and thanks for the numbing suggestions. That needle does seem a bit bigger than the typical IV catheter and even with the numbing spray the stick was noticeable. it was even more noticeable when it came out. But all in all there has been very little pain with the placement surgery except for the dressings which were uncomfortable making me feel like I had a stiff neck and arm. The infusion went very well and somewhat quicker (a nice thing). They were able to draw the blood sample from the port so we avoided that stick as well. Just for the record I have a Bard dual lumen Power Port. At this early stage I give it a "thumbs up" review.

      about 5 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar
      abrub

      mgm48 - there also is a numbing cream (ask for Emla) that you gob on about an hour before chemo and cover with plastic wrap until chemo time. It works fantastically! I had both a belly port and a chest port (got chemo into my belly as well as systemic) and I never felt those needles going in as long as I had the Emla. That cream is worth its weight in gold. Of note: you gob it on, don't just rub in a bit. The area needs to be thickly coated ("frosted"), hence the plastic wrap or tegaderm over it.

      about 5 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar
      SandiD

      I agree with most of the people here. The positives WAY outweigh the negatives of having a port. If I ever need one again I would do it in a heart beat! Specially for a breast cancer patient who can only use one arm. Having a port is a bit annoying sometimes but it beats being a pin cushin!

      about 5 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      Another update - Other than slight discomfort occasionally, the only negative I have is that my port is a CONSTANT reminder of the fact I have cancer. In the past I could sometimes "forget" about cancer for days at a time between chemo sessions. Now I don't. I do appreciate the ease of drug delivery and the smile on the nurse's face when she sees my rubber bracelet. I know they hated finding a "good" vein each time. All in all the experience has been a good one.
      Keep it positive and smile:)

      about 5 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      For those with sensitive skin: While your port is accessed, if you have any itching caused by the dressing, I stumbled onto a solution that works for me. Only took me three years though.. :-(

      about 5 years ago
    • debbie1958's Avatar
      debbie1958

      I had a port put in for my chemo and it worked great bu I did get some blood clots from it and had it taken out right after chemo.

      about 5 years ago
    • Moonflay's Avatar
      Moonflay

      I have no issues with my port. They had some problems getting it in, apparently they attempted it to place it on both sides of my chest finally placing it in the original location. Other than some discomfort immediately following the surgery it has been virtually painless. Taking chemo and injections through the port is wonderful. My arms had begun to feel like battle zones with all the blood tests, chemo is walk in the park with the port.

      I highly recommend a port. I can sleep on either side and /or my stomach, I simply forget it is there until I look in a mirror, lol.

      about 5 years ago
    • ogtxaggiemom's Avatar
      ogtxaggiemom

      do it...my husband has one with no problems, and now that he is in clinical trial and is poked for blood work all the time he hates that. It makes chemo so much easier, just don't forget the cream.

      about 5 years ago
    • Onoi11's Avatar
      Onoi11

      I've had an excellent experience with my port. It takes the anxiety out of the infusions, since my veins were small, deep and stubborn.

      about 5 years ago
    • kathie's Avatar
      kathie

      Really liked the port because I have lousy veins and this preserved them

      about 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar
      HeidiJo

      I was told I had to getr a port becaue of the kind of chemo I received, it would damage the skin around my veins and they would have to be repaired after the chemo, so that was a no brainer. I had no porblems with the port and it didn't even hurt when they inserted the needle

      about 5 years ago
    • CountryGirl516's Avatar
      CountryGirl516

      I had a port and I never had any problems with it, some of the other CHILDREN at my hospital had problems with theirs. Some of theirs would get infected and they had to keep getting surgeries to put new ones in.

      about 5 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar
      Queen_Tatiana

      My husband has had a port since day one of chemo September 2004. The first port he did have issues with as it became infected and caused a lot of health issues for him as you can imagine. The second port he has had since Spring 2005.

      In all this time I think I have only actually touched the port spot, his upper right chect area just below his shoulder, a handful of times. I honestly don't believe he's touched in other than the first time he touched after it was put in. We do talk about that frequently and agree that it's OK. On our list of things we don't need to do, touching the port is somewhere on the list, and we're both perfectly content with our choices.

      about 5 years ago
    • SherBear's Avatar
      SherBear

      I love my port! They have only not been able to access it twice this whole year. It is a bit creepy to see it poking out from under my skin, but other than that, it has been a real blessing since I have really hard to access veins! The surgery for placement was super easy and no real recovery time. Save your veins! : )

      about 5 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar
      jvbaseballmom2

      I thought my port was the best decision I made through my entire cancer/chemo process. It saved my veins, they didn't have to hunt to find a vein, and it was painless for them to access it. I never had any problems. After a year, I fought with my doctor to keep it longer, just as an insurance safety blanket. She let me keep it for a while longer. I would highly recommend it to anyone. My port was put in so well, it wasn't even noticeable from the outside.

      about 5 years ago
    • Genjen's Avatar
      Genjen

      I wished I could have gotten my port sooner then I did. I have a blood disorder since I was 21 will be 49 in 2wks and 2yrs ago finally got my power port due to constant blood draws, IV's and treatments that I no longer had veins that weren't scarred. When I was hospitalized 2yrs ago the nurses asked and begged the Drs to give me a port because they were having to give me a new IV every 2days because the IV would give out after antibotics, pain meds and what ever else they had to give me. and It would take 10 tries to get an IV in because the veins would collapses so I think if you get the right port you will be very happy. I love love love love my port.

      about 5 years ago
    • vizslagirl's Avatar
      vizslagirl

      i ***LOVE*** my port! i've had 2 different ones over the year--currently my2nd port is a powerport. i have tiny veins and a needle phobia, so even though the port still has to be accessed, it beats the XXX out of nurses trying 2,3, or 4 times to get a good vein. over the years my needle phobia has understandably only gotten worse rather than better.

      matter of fact, i'm so glad for ports that when my cancer recurred 18 months ago and i KNEW that i would be getting more treatments, i went ahead and begged for a port because i knew it would save me the dreaded IV episodes. considering how often i've needed meds or dyes for scans (every month), in the last 18 months i would've been SO much worse off without my port!!!
      i **HIGHLY** recommend it, especially if you are NOT keen on needles or IV's!!!! and if you are going to get stuck a lot, it really makes a difference. i can feel it under my skin, but other than that i take no notice of it.
      hope that helps! : )

      about 5 years ago
    • vizslagirl's Avatar
      vizslagirl

      OOPS, forgot---my team at Duke told me about a lady that had a port for ****22***** YEARS!!!! and she had no problems and obviously it was a great choice for her. they said she still gets cancer treatments with it and is still going strong. go figure. ; )

      about 5 years ago
    • beingme's Avatar
      beingme

      I have had my port for only 2 months. I experience itching and burning while sleeping on either side...yesterday I had problems while actively up and about, itching, burning...I wonder if the nurse who took blood the day before pricked me in a wrong place?! or if it could be that I was smelling purfumes yesterday while out shopping??!! At any rate, my port has been a pain in the u no what since I've had it..I can't wait until it comes out, it feels very envasive!!!! I am very sensitive when it comes to my body.

      about 5 years ago
    • eweneek's Avatar
      eweneek

      Talk about a love/hate relationship! I never questioned the benefits of having a Port placed prior to surgery. I was somewhat concerned about the location because my clavicles are very sensitive and ticklish, so I asked the surgeon to place it as low as possible. He placed it right on top of the clavicle bone! Everytime I moved my head or arm I had the sensation of nails on a chalk board. That lasted a few weeks, but soon I hardly noticed it and I loved having the for blood draws as well as treatments (with the use of numbing cream). I had talked to other patients who had kept the port in for years with no problems as all. I planned on having mine removed six months after completing treatment. However, I began experiencing symptoms that I struggled with for four months and four different doctors before finally being diagnosed by an invasive radiologist. I had developed a huge blood clot all around the catheter of my port. It was unexpected since there had been no symptoms right at the port site and my port had continued to function just fine. The symptoms waxed and waned for awhile but eventually became debilitating: swelling of face, neck and upper body; visual and aural disturbances; pounding or throbbing in head or neck; acute discomfort when bending over; vertigo; shortness of breath; difficullty swallowing; difficulty breathing - especially when lying down. The condition is called superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) due to thrombosis, and the symptoms result from blood backing up in the upper body because it cannot drain back to the heart. I was told that I would have had a better outcome had proper treatment with Lovanox been started right away. As it is, the clot has calcified and began growing into my jugular veins. PLEASE, if you experience any or all of these symptoms, ask your doctor for a chest CT with contrast to look for the formation of collateral veins as well a clot around the catheter of your port. Good luck to you!

      about 5 years ago
    • RNTracyOCN's Avatar
      RNTracyOCN

      Oncology nurses love ports because they are generally easier to use. Usually patient satisfaction is higher because the treatment can go usually go quicker (no searching for a vein) and the dilution of the medicine is quicker. They are especially favorable for drugs categorized as vesicants (vs irritants). If I were going to choose a port, being an oncology patient, I'd request a power port or smart of some sort (there are different brands) because you can use those kinds of ports for one additional use (CT scans) that you can't use a standard port for. If you go to the hospital for whatever reason, the port is certainly used in the hospital setting as well. If someone seems unexperienced with ports, you can always ask for an oncology nurse to come to access your port. The majority of patients where I work have them, so logic would say if they were prone to problems, they wouldn't be used. That said, they are man-made and can randomly have a defect but that is not typical. Also, health care providers use assessments of the port (such as "blood retun", steady and controllable drip rate, no swelling around the port site, and the feel of the back of the port when the needle goes in, as well as patient denying any burning stinging or pain) to check how the port is working. Ports do seem to have a personality of their own at times (that's a little chemo humor! :)). As far as when to remove them, it's usually a decision were defer to doctor and patient as the doctor. Some patients want the ports removed as soon as they finish treatment, some say it's their good luck charm and don't want to get rid of them, often elderly patients like them for quick access for ongoing lab check ups, and some people keep them for a year for labs or "just in case". Again, that is a personal decision and between you and your doctor. Usually patients say the port area toughens up and the pain of the huber needle stick becomes easier and is "tolerable". There is EMLA cream, a numbing cream, that some patients use but most find it to be tolerable. The needle doesn't have to be stuck in very far and is very quick. Good luck on your decision making!

      about 5 years ago
    • lasheliz's Avatar
      lasheliz

      Hi mgm48, I'm an RN on an oncology unit and we deal with ports all of the time. I have seen and accessed a lot of them. IV insertion is an art more than a science in terms of finding a "good" vein, especially one that will stand up to chemo. The port means less pain and less vessel damage for you because you won't have to be stuck every time you get chemo - that's a lot of needles! Accessing the port is very quick and some people have said to me that they don't feel it except some pressure. The scar is a little line on the upper chest and most of the ones I've seen have faded well, even if they were put in recently. The device itself is pretty small, It's about the size of a plastic bottle cap with a tail you can't see once it's in. When it's taken out, the scar is the same size as the original one. I'd say it benefits you way more than the RN. Accessing a port is about the same amount of work as inserting an IV and it's much safer because there's no chance the chemo will infiltrate (leak into surrounding tissue) and cause pain, damage, scarring etc.

      Goodluck! I hope you are doing well!

      about 5 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      Hi, I have a power port implanted in my chest, it has made chemo a breeze, OK, the chemo wasn't so lovely but the infusion process was easy. I get regular flushes to keep it available, needed as I have an aggressive form of breast cancer. There is a brief recovery period after the surgery to implant the port but I did not nor do not have any issues with comfort at the site. Good luck to you. Lin

      about 5 years ago
    • Goofy1946's Avatar
      Goofy1946

      goofy1946
      Hi, mgm48,
      I have had a Port for almost two years , and have had no problems !!!!
      I would recommend that you ask your nurse or Oncologyst to give you a tube of Lidocane , to put a dab of it over your Port before you go to the Cancer Center for a Treatment or a Port flush or Blood Work !!!!!!
      It is really slick !!! Good Luck !

      almost 5 years ago
    • mhc's Avatar
      mhc

      I also have a port. One suggestion for when they put the needle in (taught to me by a nurse): They usually count 1, 2, 3 & put in the needle. As they push the needle in, blow out as hard as you can. This is a yoga technique.Since you are concentrating on blowing,you will hardly feel a thing!

      over 4 years ago
    • laurie2025's Avatar
      laurie2025

      I have a power port, and it was installed fairly recently. I won't lie and say it was a breeze, it hurt for about 2 weeks; much more than I expected. Of course I had pain medication which helped tremendously. Now I don't even know it's there, and I don't use any numbing cream or spray, it doesn't bother me a bit when they use it. I do use the 'take a deep breath and blow' technique and it works for me. I'm glad I have it.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cmurphy's Avatar
      Cmurphy

      My husband has had a port for over two years with absolutely no problems. It provides easy, virtually pain-free access.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cmurphy's Avatar
      Cmurphy

      My husband has had a port for over two years with absolutely no problem and virtually no pain during infusions. He only wishes that he had put it on the other side as it interferes with hunting when positioning his rifle. Just think about your activities when deciding which side.

      over 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
    • elissa5's Avatar
      elissa5

      I was so sick when I was diagnosed and in so much pain, I don't think I was given an option of a port or no port...I could have been but don't remember because of all the meds I was on.
      I like my port it makes it much easier for chemo and scans. Occasionally it may be a bit sore and you have to be careful not to hit it , or lean on it. But overall glad I have it. I am done with treatments for now...however have kept the port in for future treatments. I go every 6-8 weeks to get it flushed.

      about 4 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      From the date of this question, you will have already decided, but I'll post an answer for readers who might also be wondering.
      Pros - I've had a port for over a year, and I'm glad I have it. My veins were difficult to access, and my arms were always bruised from them blowing out my veins. Mine is a "smart port" (there are different brands), so, in addition to using it to infuse my immunotherapy treatments, they use it to draw blood, and they use it to inject contrasts during my periodic scans (CT, PET, and MRI's). So, even though I finished immunotherapy last year, I keep the port because I have scans every three months and I have periodic blood draws. The port needs to be flushed every six weeks, but that's a quick trip to the nearby infusion room for me. They also flush it whenever they access it during scans, so that cuts down on trips to have it flushed.
      Cons - there's "minor" surgery to install it. (I believe no surgery is minor, because it is an insult to the body that takes time and energy to heal.) You can feel the lump the port makes, but I no longer notice it. At my cancer center, I have to make sure they know in advance that i have the port, because they have to call in a special infusion nurse to access the port, and if they don't do it, that can cause a delay in getting my scan done.

      about 4 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar
      mgm48

      Just a tip for all who seem to have trouble outside the chemo suite "getting them to use the port" At my center I go to IV infusion dept (that's the chemo dept) to get "accessed" before the scan and back there after the scans to be "deaccessed" it adds a couple minutes but they usually want blood draws that day as well so IV does that as well right through the port.

      about 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar
      DaveWaz

      WhatNexters,

      Mgm48, along with many others have asked about experiences with chemo ports. The frequent conversation around the topic of "To port or not to port?" inspired a blog article that provides your own insights shared about ports.

      http://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/to-port-or-not-to-port-whatnexters-weigh-in-on-chemo-ports

      It also inspired a beginner's guide on chemo ports called "What is a chemo port?"

      https://www.whatnext.com/cc/What_is_a_Chemo_Port

      Both of these are meant to help WhatNexters wrap their mind around what a port is, when it is used, and why you might want one.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We could not do it without you.
      David

      about 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      After multiple attempts, each chemo session, to find a vein, the port was the only way to go. It was placed just high enough to miss seatbelt interference. And I could wear blouses open at the neck as usual w.o. Problems. So for me, the port was a positive experience.

      about 4 years ago
    • csdub's Avatar
      csdub

      First of all, and even some nurses don't know this...If you get a port and it's in your chest (a few inches below your collar bone), before you get stuck, stretch your shoulder back as far as possible, this makes the stick hurt less.

      I appreciate my port because the last time the hospital tried to start an IV on me, it took 16 sticks...they were sticking my feet, ankles, fingers, knuckles, etc. before I said "just try it on the right side" (where I'm not supposed to get stuck because I have no lymph nodes there)...they finally got one going in my shoulder.

      If your care team recommend a port, I'd get it. The team is taking into consideration the type of chemo you're getting, how long you have to take it, and whether or not that type is particularly hard on your veins. I've heard some of the chemotherapy nurses tell other patients that the chemo they're on "Is really hard on the veins". The surgeon that put my port in was the same that did my mastectomies, and he was surprised that my oncologist ordered a port, because I am just having four rounds of chemo, but what the surgeon didn't know was just how "hard it is to stick me"...I've been like that all my life.

      What makes me appreciate my port even more is that since I got it, I've had to go to an infusion center for 10 days for IV antibiotics and have been in the hospital twice for acute renal failure. The first episode of renal failure I was so sick from chemo that I'd lost 19 pounds in two weeks and was mildly dehydrated. It's nearly impossible to start an IV on me when I'm dehydrated....good thing I had my port.

      My port doesn't always give blood like it's supposed to, so I have to get re-stuck in the port several times until it gives blood, but I'd rather get stuck three times than 16!

      about 4 years ago
    • csdub's Avatar
      csdub

      To those of you who have pain from when your seatbelt touches your port: I bought something from the auto department of Wal-Mart years ago that I've started using again : it's about 12 inches long, is fluffy like wool and has velcro the length of it so it fastens around the seat belt. This makes for a great cushion, but I don't know why a folded-over dishtowel or washcloth wouldn't have the same effect.

      about 4 years ago
    • Darryl1's Avatar
      Darryl1

      My husband had a port put in last month,he has had no problems.He says it feels better on his arms then getting poked in the same arm all the time.

      over 3 years ago

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