• Port or IV for chemo

    Asked by youngfarmgal on Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    Port or IV for chemo

    What would be the best IV or port for Chemo in the summer? Hard to find good veins for IV before surgery.

    22 Answers from the Community

    22 answers
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      That is up to your oncologist because it will depend on the kind of chemo used but hasn't he suggested this already to you? I would definitely ask him about it if you are going to have chemo but I am kind of surprised that he or she hasn't already brought it up, because usually they are anxious to get ports installed because they are so convenient. Good luck and best wishes!

      about 7 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am (Best Answer!)

      Chemo is hard on veins and if you already have difficulty accessing your veins then a port is the way to go.My chest port was put in as an out patient procedure. I was uncomfortable for several days later and had to take Tylenol with Codiene for neck pain. Everyone is different and some only have minor discomfort.The port worked well throughout my chemo. I would put Lidocane ointment (can be bought over the counter and is cheap ) on my port site about one hour prior to the chemo.The ointment really dulls the needle access of the port.Some people do not need anything but the access bothered me. Covered the site with Saran Wrap and tape first time then infusion center gave me covers for the rest of my chemo. I still have my chest port in seven weeks post chemo and frequently forget it is there.Have to get it flushed every three to five weeks though so there is my reminder. Take care.

      about 7 years ago
    • Janetspringer's Avatar
      Janetspringer

      Port. I was told chemotherapy can burn up your veins.

      about 7 years ago
    • Bb31565's Avatar
      Bb31565

      Talk with your oncologist....I didn't get a port. He told me if I ever needed one we could do it....I went through chemo twice with IV and did fine. Veins are tougher but so am I. Good luck

      about 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      My doctor didn't even ask, just ordered the port. When I went for chemo, I saw so many people getting I.V. that I was jealous. But, as I progressed through treatment, I was quite dehydrated, which makes an I.V impossible, so I was glad to have the port.

      about 7 years ago
    • Heather3's Avatar
      Heather3

      Depending on the the type and duration of your chemo treatment, I would recommend the port. It goes under the skin. I do not have any maintenance or restriction with mine. It makes the treatments so much easier for me. I dread IVs but have no anxiety when the onc nurses access the port. I use the lidocaine cream 30 minutes prior to treatment and I do not feel a thing. Also it gives you freedom of motion compared to an IV stuck in your around your elbow. Best wishes to in your upcoming treatment. Drink tons of water daily and let your medical team know right away if you have any side effects. They can work with on helping to alleviate them.

      about 7 years ago
    • skimpy10's Avatar
      skimpy10

      I was encouraged to have a port by my doctor before I started treatment. I'm glad I have it too. I don't like having IV's stuck in my arms anymore because it was starting to hurt. Everyone is right that it makes things easier.

      about 7 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I had a port the surgeon put it in did not even ask questions. I did use a anesthetic cream. but some days I asked the nurses to do it through the veins and I had all blood draws through the veins also I had all Mri's and scans done through the veins so you can do it both ways if you want my port also failed and had to be replaced.
      As an aside if you are planning on flying while you still have your port besure to get your Dr. to arrange for a special security pass for a private scanning. It will save you a lot of pain and embarassment

      about 7 years ago
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      I put my vote in for port. Much less aggravation on veins.

      about 7 years ago
    • Judt1940's Avatar
      Judt1940

      My Dr. Didn't ask either. Port put in, no problems. Finding a good vein over and over terrible thought.

      about 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      if it was already hard to find good veins... and your team is recommending the port... then i would say go with that recommendation.

      i had a love/hate relationship with my port - it sure did make chemo easier. i had 16 treatments total, and one of the drugs, which i had only four times, was particularly hard on veins... but, i did find the sensation in my neck - a slight pulling sensation nearly all of the time - rather annoying. also, it was on my left, which was my messenger bag side, which made me have to switch to the right, which was .... HARD!!!!! and it was placed right where the car seat belt hit on the driver's side... ANNOYING... overall - worth it, though. would totally choose the port again, although i really really hope to never have to make that decision again.

      i wrote a blog post about getting the port as i found it difficult to find information about what getting one would be like....

      http://rleepenn.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/port-placement/

      good luck...

      about 7 years ago
    • youngfarmgal's Avatar
      youngfarmgal

      Thank you for all your answers. I'm so hard to get an iv in that they had to use my wrist for the iv after trying 4 other times (my veins disappeared after the lidocaine). Supposed to have 3 chemos, then 5-6 weeks of radiation, and another 3 chemos. How do you keep a port clean during the radiation portion?

      about 7 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      When you go to have a blood test they stick a needle in your vein then withdraw it and place a dressing over the area and tell you to keep in on for a while.This is also what happens when you have your port accessed.Because the port itself is under the skin you only have a needle stick open to the air a short while.You can take your dressing off a short time after your chemo and not worry about it. Take showers,live your life.Once in a while infections do occur so report any redness or irritation. A very low percentage have some movement of the port and usually this can be corrected through manipulation of the port My abdominal port did this and it was a painless procedure. Very infrequently a port may need to be replaced. If it is going to be 5 to 6 weeks of radiation you will need to have your port flushed once during that time to keep it patent.Same procedure as with chemo,they will access it , flush solution in, then remove needle. The procedure is a piece of cake.Take care all the best.

      about 7 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      Lynne said it ll. I LOVE my port. MY doctor gave me the option of having chemo via IV, port or a PICC line in my arm. The port was the best choice for me and I have been very happy with it. No issues at all.

      about 7 years ago
    • Judt1940's Avatar
      Judt1940

      They handle that. Don't worry about things. They do it over and over.

      about 7 years ago
    • alimccalli's Avatar
      alimccalli

      Definitely vote for the Port. I have also had bad veins my whole life which do not like needles of any kind. When I was first diagnosed, the thought of all the needles and IV's terrified me almost as much as the cancer diagnosis itself because it was always a painful process for me. My doctor didn't really give me a choice, she just scheduled the procedure for me to have it put in, but it sounded like something I would have wanted anyway.

      The port procedure was simple, as was taking it out when I finished treatment. They did EVERYTHING through the port - chemo, blood draws, hydration IV's and blood transfusions. It just made it so much easier - pretty hard to XXX up accessing a port. I rarely felt the needle poke, and also used the Lidocain cream. A little discomfort with seat belts (and there are nifty port pillows that helped with this) and other minor issues were worth it. I hope I never have to, but would choose this option again in a heartbeat if faced with the decision.

      about 7 years ago
    • Biddy's Avatar
      Biddy

      Port, they always have a hard time getting a vein in me, so I love my port. Makes life so easy and no bruises. Especially since I have herceptin treatment for a year.

      about 7 years ago
    • MsMope's Avatar
      MsMope

      My gynecological oncologist in a university cancer center said he does not recommend ports for the chemo I'm having - Carbo/Taxol three weeks apart for 6 cycles. I've been content with an IV placed in my hand. With ports there are additional risks - infection and pain (not just when it's placed). My veins were not great to start with. Chemo clinic nurses got the IV in on the second stick more often than not. But I think a needle stick is small beans compared to the larger problems that confront us. It helps me to put the various assaults on my body in perspective. If I could do the hysterectomy, I can do a few needle sticks. So I followed my doctor's advice and I'm satisfied. An additional thought: I sleep somewhat on my stomach and chest. I read comments from women who found their ports uncomfortable overnight because they were stomach sleepers. It's something to think about if you're having just a few chemo treatments like me (6 altogether).

      about 7 years ago
    • girlstrong's Avatar
      girlstrong

      This seems like overall yes for the port. I agree with that. It is virtually painless when it needs to be accessed and causes me no discomfort when not being used. You can move around so much easier when you are having chemo than IV in your arms. I still have mine and I am 21/2 years years past chemo. May have it out in 6 months but it is really not bothersome and now feels like my security blanket

      about 7 years ago
    • Gardener's Avatar
      Gardener

      Its a "no brainer" for me. I have a Dual port and had to have 6 cycles of chemo and 9 months later 6 more cycles. It has absolutely been no problem for me. No hassles.
      By the way I am an "old former farm gal" but we remain tough all of our life:)

      about 7 years ago
    • youngfarmgal's Avatar
      youngfarmgal

      Ms Mope, that is similar to the kind of treatment I'm going to have, but will have it split by the radiation. I really don't know, It took the nurses 5 tries to get an iv in me before surgery because the good vein was used for blood retrieval. Lidocaine "scares" my veins.

      about 7 years ago
    • Cece423's Avatar
      Cece423

      Go for the port if you have a choice. I absolutely hated it when it was inserted--big, ugly lump on my chest, right where my tank top strap sat. But it made blood tests and chemo treatments so easy, no vein poking, bruising from IVs, etc. My favorite chemo nurse always gave me a shot of lidocaine before sticking the IV into the port, and it was quite painless. I was able to have it removed right away, but many people keep them in for future treatments. Best wishes to you!

      about 7 years ago

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