• Pro's and Con's of a Port for chemo? What is your experience?

    Asked by Julie99 on Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Pro's and Con's of a Port for chemo? What is your experience?

    With so much control already taken in this whole thing, I did not want a port. I don't want a daily reminder sticking out of my chest. I go in for chemo every 2 weeks, then I leave. I don't want it with me. I already have my two 4" scars from the bilateral mast across my chest & I hate the idea of having another scar from bc on my chest another reminder.
    Yesterday for my shot, I was ambushed by a nurse & social worker trying to talk me into a port. Yes, I reacted like a 5 year old that I refuse to sign consent for it & I'll stop chemo if it comes to that. I HATED how they attacked me on it.
    I had all lymph nodes on my right side taken so they are telling my that I have limited space on my left arm for IV's. I've NEVER had issues with IV's before, even the 4 other's I've needed for 4 surgeries in the past 5 months.
    What are your experiences with ports if this is what they ultimately strongly recommend?

    100 Answers from the Community

    100 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I was not given the option of a port (and I forgot to ask). However, with 6 rounds of chemo, my only problem was in the 2nd to last session. My taxol leaked. I had a large lump on my arm (from the extra fluid), then what looked like a horrible sunburn w/a large maroon wound. It ached, itched and was numb. This was in Dec -- still suffering from some numbness, but my doc did say that would diminish. Other 5 session, absolutely no problems.

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      You have the option of a PICC placement everytime you get chemo and the PICC can be removed when you leave infusion. It can be placed in the neck and is done so at interventional radiology. It takes about 1/2 hour and is temporary but will protect your veins. It is something that you might consider. Best of luck to you and if you do not want a port, that is your right, Carm RN.

      over 7 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I sure would like to change your mind too. My port is probably about the best thing about having had breast cancer. If you are looking at it as a control issue, you have way more control with a port. You are already limited to one arm for needle pokes the rest of your life. Having to find a vein every two weeks is eventually going to wear out those veins. It's been my experience that the red blotches and bruises from multiple needle sticks and blood leaks are far more of an ugly reminder of cancer than the port is.

      Another plus for a port is that there is much less chance of chemo infusions leaking with a port. A leak of chemo outside your vein is a big problem medically. And finally, even after you finish chemo you will probably have regular blood work. and possibly followup scans with contrast. You port can be used for all of those things as well. I finished chemo almost a year ago, but I still have my port. In fact it was accessed just this morning when I had my first colonoscopy. They used it for both the IV drip and the anesthesia.

      over 7 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar

      Julie, I understand your feelings about having a port put in. It took me years before I could look at or touch mine. They are a reminder of the cancer. Also no one should ever pressure you to have it done if you really don't want it. Thoes are the the cons of getting a port.

      On the pros side, chemo are harsh medications. When pout into your arm veins, which are relatively small they all hit that vein and will do some damage. With a port the chemo goes into a large vein in your chest with fasdt moving blood that distributes it faster thus doinf less damage to the point it is put into. Repeated IVs in your arms will eventually lead to scaring on your arms which may be miore difficult to cover up than a port on your chest and the questions about what may look like tracks on your arms...

      Bottom line is that I recommend the port but no one can or should force you to get one. You can always have a couple of chemo treatments and then get one. Good Luck

      over 7 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      The only con I had was some severe bruising at the port site for about a week after it was implanted. However, I bruise really easily. It made administering my chemo and geting my blood work so much easier through the port. I am so glad I decided to get the port even though people advised against it since I was only having 6 sessions of chemo.

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Get a port. IV infusions 2-3 times a month cause your veins to become fragile. This makes inserting the line painful and finding a working one difficult. the day of the infusion I had before the procedure it took three tries to find vein, by then both arms were black and blue. On the day of the procedure the nurse needed to try 3 times. The port is so much more comfortable, I have both my hands free, having one arm hooked up, really limits what you can do. Best of all they were able to cut the sped of the gemzar drip from an hour to 1/2 hour.

      over 7 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      Hi Julie. I am a two time ovarian cancer survivor. My first time I cried like a baby not wanting a port. Frankly at that time I never heard of a port. I did have a picc line inserted and removed for each treatment. At that time that worked well for me. The nurses didn't like the idea but it was the doctor that came up with it.
      This time I did have the port inserted. It was easier to deal with then the picc line every treatment. But I wouldn't say I love my port. There is a cream to put on your skin so it doesn't hurt when they puncture the port. These have been my experiences. I don't have a recommendation either way for you. Hope this helps. I can totally relate to the feeling of not wanting a port. Take care now.

      over 7 years ago
    • briddell's Avatar

      I for one had no issue with the port being there, using it, having it there was much easier on me than having them poke around for a good vein to access. It wasnt at all what I thought it was going to be, its under the skin no one knows it is there but you and your doctor and nurses. I had bruising the first week or so, but after that not an issue at all. It def made the chemo treatments easier. My port was removed right in the doctors office. Good luck in wahtever you choose to do.

      over 7 years ago
    • MeggyinSF's Avatar

      Hi Julie, My husband had a port installed after his first two rounds of chemo and is really glad he did. His doctor had mentioned it as an option and he bristled at it because he did not want "one more procedure." His chemo meds (oxaliplatin) did a number on his veins and he is so happy that he eventually got the port. I'm so sorry the nurses teamed up on you - his nurses also had strong opinions and during a time when everybody thinks they know what is best for you I'm sure it was annoying and rude. Hope this helps. Take care!

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I have had two in the last 24 years. During my first chemo rounds that were only supposed to last about 3 months, by veins got so hard and skinny that the nurses had a hard time finding one that would work. So when my next 3 months worth of treatments was to start, the docs said I needed one, I had NO PROBLEM with getting it, it was my friend.

      The only Con? The first one stopped working. It had to be replaced, no big deal, same operation it was taken out and the new put in. The Pros? No sticking in the arm any more, no blown veins, easy blood draws on a minutes notice.

      I liked mine so well that when my treatment was over, they wanted to take it out, I said NO, I'll just hang on to it, just in case. I kept it for 15 years, most of the time I didn't give it a second thought.

      I say get one. You will love it more than notice it.

      over 7 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      I felt like you. I had enough surgery after lumpectomy and did not want a port or another operation. I also had an infection at site of lymph node dissection. Since I only had 4 treatments and had good veins, onc said I would be fine - and I was. No issues with treatments and I loved not having a port. Of course, if I was having more than 4,I would have opted for a port. Don't think veins would have held up with a lot of treatments. Good luck!

      over 7 years ago
    • comp's Avatar

      hi julie 99 my name is doreen i was the same way you are about the port i was against it whole heartly until i had to keep getting stuck and my veins started to collapse every time my wriste and back of my hand started getting briused up im finish with chemo and still carry the scares from them trying to find a line in the back of my hand i have my port in my chest but you can barely tell its theire took me 5 months to finally get it im glad i did it and i have to leave it for five yrs while i take the harmone pills i have to get it flushed ever so often to keep it open just in case i need it when i go to the hospital or get sick they can use the port instead of starting a central line it works out in the end i hope you rethink your decision and i wish you nothing but the best of luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • Chemobrain35's Avatar

      I have to have 12 rounds of chemo and I hate needles. I opted for the port and really like it. My doctor orders tubes of emla cream to to put on my port an hour before a needle insert to numb my skin and 90% of the time I don't feel a thing.

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had a port and loved it....it was in my left arm (prophy side)...not sure how I would have felt to have it on my chest....Mine was well used as I went for IV hydration 3 days after each chemo....I had my port out 3 weeks post chemo at onc's suggestion.....It was right for me, but many people don't get ports and no medical person should ambuse and bully you into getting one.....

      over 7 years ago
    • sheryl1986's Avatar

      Dear Julie99: am sorry that you have had such a bad experience and the attack by the social worker and nurse. I think if people haven't gone through anythiing like what we have gone through they can't sometimes empathize or sympathize. I told my docs that I wanted a port because my veins are so bad! It doesn't bother me. You do have more scars than I do so I can empathize with that. Mine has always flushed and to be honest i would rather have my blood drawn from my port than my veins because i know that it works. I hope this helps a little. It is still ultimately your decision. I am able to lift my arm, sleep on my L side as that is where the port is located. Good luck. Please, feel like writing if you want.

      over 7 years ago
    • sheryl1986's Avatar

      Dear Julie99: am sorry that you have had such a bad experience and the attack by the social worker and nurse. I think if people haven't gone through anythiing like what we have gone through they can't sometimes empathize or sympathize. I told my docs that I wanted a port because my veins are so bad! It doesn't bother me. You do have more scars than I do so I can empathize with that. Mine has always flushed and to be honest i would rather have my blood drawn from my port than my veins because i know that it works. I hope this helps a little. It is still ultimately your decision. I am able to lift my arm, sleep on my L side as that is where the port is located. Good luck. Please, feel like writing if you want.

      over 7 years ago
    • Beverly60's Avatar

      My first round of Chemo (12 weekly injections) was without a port. I had not had surgery yet, so both arms were available for injection sites. By the end of the 12 weeks, it usually took multiple sticks to find a good vein.
      By the next round, I jumped at the chance for a port! A Power Port can have multiple uses and can be deadened with Emla cream so you don't feel it when it's accessed.
      I understand your feelings about loss of control. That's the disease. It can make you feel like you no longer control your own body.
      A Power Port is a way of taking back control of a small piece of your treatment. You decide where and how the chemicals are going to be injected when you agree to a Port. And by doing so, you can control the amount of pain the treatment will cause your skin.
      Just something for you to consider.

      over 7 years ago
    • speedy's Avatar

      Julie, I did not want a port, either. I had 6 rounds of chemo with no problems. My nurses switched arms and veins and it worked great. I'm glad I had great chemo nurses who took very good care of me and gave me the choice. I would not have it any other way You have the right to refuse. Best wishes.

      over 7 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      Like the others, I'm so sorry that you were ambushed into making a decision. I am sure that you'll make the right choice for you. I do have a port and feel like it was the best choice for me. I'm only a month and a half out of chemo, but after some advice here, I'm going to keep mine for a while, just in case. It is a bit of an annoyance at times - mine is lower than I'd like, so wearing a seatbelt when it was tender was difficult. I have to say, I'm glad I had the port for infusions. Good luck in your decision!

      over 7 years ago
    • wasatrucker's Avatar

      Getting a port was the BEST thing I did. I also had a burn on my forearm from the taxel. For me, every time I went in for chemo it was awful getting stuck for that catheter. If you do get one be sure to get the Power Port, that way they can use it for contrast dye for CT scans. The non Power Ports won't work for CT scans. The downside is if it is not being used on a regular basis you have to have it flushed every 30 days which can be kind of an inconvenience. When they put it in it is done under concious sedation....I was REALLY nervous about that but it was really nothing. I remember the surgeon saying something to me and working on me but I don't even remember what he said.

      over 7 years ago
    • chrissy's Avatar

      I did not want a port either, I had 33 treatments via IV with no problems, went to Cancer Tretments of America after my doc said hang it up and just go on pain meds.. ctca put a port in stating it will let the chemo get into my body lots faster and work better, so far they have been right, I usually did not get any side effects for two or three days, now side effects start that night or the next day which is fine with me cause it all the faster the side efffects are gone and attacking the cancer faster.

      over 7 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      My port was my best friend. I didn't want them to remove it after my treatments were finished. I have recommended it to anyone I know who has had to go through chemo.

      over 7 years ago
    • jaygee's Avatar

      I was glad to have a port. It was so much easier than ruining my arms. Yes, it was a constant reminder, but the ease of having chemo through it, and the safety factor far outweighed the scar or anything else. I chose to have the port. It's ultimately your choice. Good luck to you.

      over 7 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      I was happy to go without a port, the nurses would find a vein to give me chemo (remember to hydrate well for this), and the phlebotomist would always find something to draw from. Now for the negative, the veins in my hands have disappeared. One year 4 months post chemo phlebotomists are having a hard time drawing blood from my veins.
      A port is convenient, but there are issues. One issue is that it is an extra procedure. I've also known patients that have experienced an infection because of the port.

      over 7 years ago
    • CountryGirl's Avatar

      I'm going to vote on "get a port" side. During treatment, a man who often sat beside me had trouble with his veins; so, without a port, they moved to numerous injections in his belly. I don't know if that's typical; but, from that moment on, I was grateful for the two inch scar.

      I also have many scars: double mastectomy, port, c-sections, hysterectomy . . . But of all of them, the port is the smoothest and most disguised. Most blouses hide the port scar.

      over 7 years ago
    • pancrease54's Avatar

      My port was one of the best decisions we made. I don't even recall the surgery but with my 24/7 chemo of 5FU, we got rid of the home health nurse as soon as my wife understood the creation of a sterile area and the distinctive "pop" sound when the needle goes in properly. The 5FU showed up a couple of days before the change every Tuesday morning and I was amazed, the little double AA battery ran the mini-IV pump for one week within an hour of the last new battery. There was not a single instance of failure and I think Doc left the port in my upper RH chest area for an additional 4-6 weeks. I never bothered me, and beat the heck out of a PICC line.For 3 weeks a month I was tethered to that little pump, IV bag and belt pak, I felt like a tourist at Disney land.

      Go for the port, it's a non issue and if you show the competency, they will let you do your own. That would be tough with a line and you would need to travel to the Dr's office! No lost time from home or fuel cost, i was 77 miles from Vanderbilt. Now, I'm 300 miles away. Leaving now for Vanderbilt Pain Management clinic for the first refill of my pain pump, installed on 9/11/2012. Go for the port, no regrets.

      over 7 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      Hi, Julie. I'm sorry you are dealing with yet another issue and I do understand your frustration. I did not want a port (my mother had one and I hated the look of it) but instead opted for a PICC-line in my arm. After the third chemo treatment, it broke and had to be removed. I had only three treatments left, so I decided to go it without port or PICC-line, just use the veins in my arm. The first two infusions went okay but the third time, and ever since then, techs, nurses, and even an anesthetist have had difficuties locating a vein and inserting an IV line, let alone a proper site for just a simple blood draw. Just yesterday I had a routine procedure requiring an IV, and it took three nurses to finally find a suitable site in my hand (after beating the heck out of it!). Only one arm is usable due to removel of lymph nodes on the other side. I guess what I'm trying to say is I think I made the wrong decision by opting out of a port. If I had it to do again, I would get the port before my initial chemo treatment. Perhaps not what you wanted to hear, but that's my experience. I wish you well as you move forward.

      over 7 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      This issue with IV's & Chemo is you run the risk of not only damaging your veins but developing phlebitis. I received my first two days of five via an IV. I developed phlebitis pretty bad. One week of phlebitis and you will regret not getting a port. The port is not permanent. It goes in and comes out very easy. I highly recommend a port!!

      over 7 years ago
    • cris' Avatar

      you say that another scar is a reminder of bc, but look at it this way, it a reminder that you kicked the bc cancer's butt. I hope you go with getting the port, so much easier then have to find a vein everytime you go. The procedure is simple, I had little to no pain & only you , the doctors & nurses know it's there. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

      over 7 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      I am with Nancyjac, much easier to have the port than constant needle sticks in my one good arm! My port only sticks out a little and no visible scar! I am having surgery today and they will use my port to start and then the anathesiologist will place one in my arm after I am asleep. My best arm for needle sticks is my left and that is my cancer arm! I hope you decide to get a port--it can be your best friend! Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • mdc's Avatar

      I had AC and Taxol using an IV. I had more anxiety from the needle sticks than from the chemotherapy itself. After the 6 or 7th cycle of Taxol (a cycle was once a week for three weeks with a week off), I went on an anti-hormonal drug. When that failed I started Taxol again. I decided to go with a port. I was afraid to get a port before that because of a friends experience. I've had the port in since the summer of 2008. I'm glad I did it. It makes the infusions easier for me. It is odd having a port sticking out of my chest but I got used to it and don't even notice it is there anymore.

      over 7 years ago
    • pll's Avatar

      I didn't want port for much the same reasons as you - I didn't want another scar and a visible, daily reminder. So I didn't get one and had my chemo in my right hand/arm. IT.WAS.A.MISTAKE. The chemo "fried" the veins in my right hand/arm. Since I'm a b/c survivor, I can only have blood drawn in my right arm, I have developed significant scar tissue in the vein on the inside of my right elbow. Drawing blood or having an IV set is horrible for me. now, this was back in '94 and the PICC placement described below wasn't an option or wasn't offered to me. So, do something else than get your chemo in your hand/arm. I regret every time I have to have a needle.

      I'm sorry you felt attached by the nurse & social worker. that's a shame and not right.

      good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • annogden's Avatar

      I chose to go on a 2 chemo week cycle to get it over with.I have very fine veins and what with chemo infusions and blood draws, they would have had to be continually sticking my right arm and hand with needles trying to find a vein so I opted for a port rather than be black and blue down one arm, which I would have found a worse reminder than the port.
      I found the port made the whole experience so much less stressful. And the best thing, when it was all over and they told me the port could come out, it felt wonderfully final! I do have a small scar on my chest where it had been, but it's not noticeable, especially compared to the other surgeries my cancers caused me to have. Every time I get undressed I see them all, but in truth I don't really see them as reminders anymore. They're just part of my body now.

      over 7 years ago
    • tatdai's Avatar

      I have a port .I got mine when i went thur chemo as my veins collapsed. it was much easier on me . I still have mine in. No problems with it at all people don't seem to notice mine . I"ve had mine in since 2007 u can hardly see the scar or port . they don't have to go looking for a vein. i get mine flushed out when i go for my pap every 6 mounts

      over 7 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      I found the port to be a blessing. Think about how many times you are "poked and prodded" while not only going through chemo but the endless blood tests. Each test requires a nurse to "poke" you with a needle. Now I've been a blood donor for 40 years and I can tell you there are some great "pokers" and not so great "pokers". I've had to be sent home from the blood bank because some flunky wasn't paying attention in nurses training school when he//she was taught how to "poke" a patient with a needle. So, when I had to make a choice as to whether or not I got a port, I jumped at the chance. As soon as the chemo was over, I had it removed. Other than chosing to have double mastectomy, getting the port was a great decision. Good Luck and God Bless

      over 7 years ago
    • fuzzylinux's Avatar

      I was not given the option of not having a port. With my chemo regime there is the 46 hour take home iv infusion so I presume it would be difficult otherwise. I was scheduled for a Power Port one week after my first oncologist visit with my first chemo a week after that. The procedure is a little discomforting with only a local administered but you get to watch a really cool video of it going in live (if you want) which I found interesting. It was uncomfortable for the fist couple weeks but after that I hardly notice it. It's installed in my right upper chest with the tube going up and over the collarbone and then down to the artery.

      I find the port access needle XXX to be be far less uncomfortable than the digging around for a good iv point in the hand or arm. I find that it does not bleed at all when removed. The Power Port allows for faster infusion speeds as well as better and fuller dispersion.

      I unquestionably recommend it to any and all I meet that require multiple infusions. The choice is yours. I found mine to be a great choice for me. Coming up on chemo cycle 9 of millions and not really counting.

      Take care and feel good.

      over 7 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      I have a power port and it is underneath my skin. I do have a 3 inch scar. Since I expect a lot more treatments and I have only one useable arm, I went for the port. It flipped over once and had to be repositioned. I worked in a hospital lab before retirement and can't express adequately how important it is to have decent veins . Even simple blood test can be herendious with bad veins . The little bit of discomfort is out weighed by keeping the veins good as long as possible. Bless you and keep strong.

      over 7 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Tally up one more person who is extremely grateful for her port. Makes every infusion and blood draw less painful and much less stressful.

      I'm sorry the people at your oncology office couldn't explain the benifits without making you feel they were on the offense. Probably they had your best interests in mind but it sounds like their "bedside manner" could use some work.

      over 7 years ago
    • spratt8687's Avatar

      Hi Julie - my experience with my port was never fun. My doctor gave me the option to have it placed because my veins in my arm were difficult to find. I had three nurses try to find them when I went for treatments and I ended up getting nasty bruses from them poking me. When my doctor presented this to me I of course said "yes let's do it!" He explained to me that it would be beneificial because of my veins being hard to find plus it would protect them. A lot of people I talked to said it was the best thing they had. However, I beg to differ lol. I hated the thing. I still do! Mine is right under my neck and it always gets in the way. And when I rub up against something (like my coat) it would remind me that it is there, most of the time I forget I even have it. I have had mine sence August and it bothers me still from time to time. I don't regreat my decision and feel I made the right choice however I just wish I had done my homework better and knew more about it. Even though mine bothers me I still tell anyone who is going through with it to go for it. The good news for me is I get mine out March 29th (Good Friday)! I am going to be one happy girl. Good luck with everything :)

      over 7 years ago
    • SmedleyMugwomp's Avatar

      Howdy! I got my port after my second round of chemo--my veins are slippery and searching for a "good" vein and valve hurt the back of my left hand. They put me out for the procedure and when I awoke, I had this lump in my upper chest area. Used this for the chemo as well as for all the multitude of blood draws. Had all these (chemo/draws) in a sitting position--although my local hospital 'needed' me to lay flat for their blood draw-apparently they don't see a lot of ports on patients. My recollection is the PET scan couldn't use the port--although my recollection may be wrong on this. Kept my port for a little after a year of finishing my chemo regimen--for blood work and maintenance chemo. Finally had it removed--although the Dr removing it (same one that put it in) left a small piece under my skin and I made him take it (small connection) out in his office a couple of weeks later. Took the port home and still have it to remind me of my treatment. I'm glad I had the 'portacath' installed and would do it again--early on during treatment. Your results may vary. Make your decision fit you, not the Dr/Nurse/Social Worker! Best wishes.

      over 7 years ago
    • Connie312's Avatar

      I have had chemo 3 times, breast cancer 3 times and Ovarian cancer, the last chemo was for 3rd Breast cancer and ovarian at the same time. The first chemo I did not have a port, and the medicine completely destroyed my veins, 16 years later still have a hard time with them if they have to take blood that way. I got a port implanted the 2nd time and taken out after because we thought I was done, but only had a very small scar and is a very small, almost undetectable device. When I knew that I was going to have to have chemo again, i had a port put back in and they were able to use the same scar entry and actually made it look even better, they also had to put a port in my abdomin for the ovarian treatment. Anyway it was the best thing I could have done, it's been 3 years since it was implanted and the doctor has no intention to have it removed, just in case, as least not any time soon, and I can hardly tell it is even there. I never have to worry about them taking blood for my check ups or CATScans. I am definitely Pro when it comes to a port.

      over 7 years ago
    • marie60's Avatar

      If I had it to do over, I'd get a port again. It's small and doesn't bother me at all. The best part is that when you go for chemo, it's easy to access, and you can't see anything, because the drip thing is behind you, so it's not a constant reminder like one would be in your arm.

      over 7 years ago
    • Alya219's Avatar

      I am that person who through everything was more anxious about getting IV's for testing, treatment etc. than I originally was about the whole idea of having cancer. I went through my first round of chemo by IV and that was a terrible experience the trouble finding a vein was more than I could handle. When the nurses were talking to me about the ports they sounded more and more wonderful. I actually talked to my oncologist about it and a week later we found out that I needed to change my treatment and it required a port anyway. I had no problems with my port except that it was a double port and they often had trouble accessing both because the first would get put in too far over. After a few times they finally got it right. I LOVED it they did everything through it, blood work, hydration, chemo, dye for scans. It was life saver for me in that it took all the anxiety away from what was already an awful situation. I would recommend a port to anyone who has issues with IV's or if your treatment has left you with problems with your veins.

      over 7 years ago
    • eweneek's Avatar

      My advice is to get a port, but BEWARE! Although doctors inform you about the risks associated with a port, including blood clots, I have found that they do not recognize the symptoms. Although tender at first, I was very glad to have a port for the twelve chemo treatments I received to treat breast cancer. Occasionally the nurses had trouble getting blood return and once they had to inject a clot buster, but all in all I was happy with it. At the conclusion of treatment, I was glad to still have it for follow up blood work and tests. Since it was no longer bothering me, my oncologist recommended I keep it until after my six-month follow-up appointment. The port continued to work well and I had it flushed monthly with no problems. During that time I developed a puzzling collection of symptoms that seemed to wax and wane. These included swelling of the sides and back of my neck, a feeling of fullness in my head and ears, dizziness, visual disturbances, shortness of breath and weakness. My arms swelled and became so tender, I had to rest my arm on a cushion in order to use a computer mouse. My face swelled and my neck became as thick as a tree trunk. Neither my family physician, my CTCA oncologist, nor the specialists they sent me to over the next five months were able to pinpoint the cause, until an invasive radiologist questioned the number of CT scans being done of my head. He suspected, correctly, that I had developed a blood clot around the port catheter. By that time, he said the clot was "as long as a hot-dog and as big around as a Twinkie." I was hospitalized, the port was removed, and I received IV anti-coagulation therapy with Heparin which required that I have a blood draw every six hours to assure therapeutic levels. My veins suffered. Throughout the next few months, I was hospitalized several times and treated with Heparin, Lovanox, and warfarin requiring numerous blood draws. I had to inject the Lovanox into my abdomen every 12 hours leading to large, painful hematomas and cellulitis. None of the treatments dissolved the clot and any surgical interventions are temporary and too risky. So now I have a very large, solid clot completely blocking the superior vena cava - the large vein that returns blood from the upper torso to the heart. I am currently taking Xaralto, an oral anticoagulant recently approved for treating blood clots. However, it only prevents the clot from getting larger. The doctors say that eventually (one or two years) the collateral veins that are forming around the clot will help relieve the symptoms, but the clot is there to stay. I have been cancer free now for a year and a half, for which I am very grateful, but the effects of the blood clot severely curtail my normal activities. I don't think this happens very often, so I wouldn't want anyone to refuse a port because of my experience. But please be aware of these symptoms and get immediate treatment if you experience any of them. It is likely that my clot would have responded favorably if treatment had been started sooner.

      over 7 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      I'm very sorry for your mistreatment.

      A radiologist and his big male nurse tried to do something similar to me but I would not stand for it. I had already explained an awful situation to my oncologist and switched radiologists away from the one who was trying to get me to switch back or change my story of why I'd switched. I was the only adult in the room and told the nurse there was no reason for him to be there because the radiologist and I were talking about things which had nothing to do with him just as your care had nothing to do with the social worker and, in truth, the nurse had no right to speak with you either. Only your doctor, and it is your oncologist doctor to whom you ought to speak about how you were treated, and who ought to answer your questions and explain about your need or lack of need for a port or direct you to someone reasonable who can answer your questions and explain things.

      I had a cancer a long time ago. I was not given a choice about having a port or not once I'd submitted to doctorly care. The port was part of the deal. What did happen to me was that the surgeon wanted to put the port into my chest with me awake and conscious under local anethestic. I told him I would not be able to remain still and asked that I be put fully under for the procedure. The surgeon (who I would recognise to this day in spite of only having seen him once so many years ago) continued to speak about locals and I, having been there before (with a dentist), continued to ask to be asleep.

      The surgeon put me under and did his little operation. I awoke to see him leaving, out of the corner of my eye, and I awoke to the certain knowledge that I'd just been knifed and began to sob bitterly and moan. The nurse on duty, using her best sympathic manner, patted me near the area thinking to calm me down. I had no choice but to begin screaming. The pain was intense. No one could help me until another doctor could be found as this expletive deleted excuse for a human being had left the building with no instructions for any pain killers for me. Even more interestingly, that port fell out and had to be replaced. I had the replacement put in by a different surgeon.

      I only had two 4 day rounds of chemotherapy through the port(s) but a fxcxing boatload of radiation (16 weeks, daily) in between and during each round.

      There are a lot of egos involved in your treatment and a lot of pushers and shovers and control freaks.
      You chose an oncologist. He controls the team. It is to him (or her) that your worries and concerns need to be addressed.

      As an aside, scars fade and make for interesting stories (make up wild ones) so don't let stuborness bite you in the behind. Just remain calm and dignified in this most indignant of situations, demand respect and to be asked rather than told about ANY thing. Keep in the forefront that you have a name and a personality which is other than patient 10465.

      Sending you a big cyber hug and best wishes for recovered good health.

      over 7 years ago
    • Danuta's Avatar

      I am not getting a port for four chemo transfusions and I feel exactly like you do. I want control of my body and I am sick and tired of all the you have to do this statements. I chose lumpectomies and chose no lymph nodes removed. He only took three during the lumpectomies and then wanted more. Got a second opinion not to do it and stuck to my decision. So now I am getting chemo and radiation. Yes, you do feel like prey and they are on the attack. I know they are trying to do their best but sometimes I just want to say leave me alone

      over 7 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      I opted for a port because I am deathly afraid of needles and knew how many "XXX" I would have to endure during chemo. But the biggest advantage of the port was to draw blood and it was a blessing when I had to be hospitalized during my chemo treatments because my immune system plummeted. All of the intravenous feedings and all the blood transfusions went in via the port. It sure beat getting "pricked" all the time with a needle. But I will agree with you that it is a personal choice and one should not be pressured to get a port. Good Luck and God Bless

      over 7 years ago
    • Acw's Avatar

      My surgeon put my port on the inside of my upper arm (opposite from my breast cancer) rather than my chest so I wouldn't have any more chest scars. There was significant bruising for a little while after insertion, but they gave me numbing cream to use ahead of each chemo, so I didn't feel any of the sticks. After catching an infection with my first chemo, there were no IVs in my hand or wrist, it just went right into the port. To me, it made things more comfortable. Getting it out wasn't the easy local office procedure they were expecting, so I'd suggest making arrangements to have it removed under twilight anesthesia in an OR. I hate IVs so the port was a better option for me.

      about 7 years ago
    • pressinfwd's Avatar

      Hi Julie,

      I've had 3 out of 4 chemo treatmenst so far and oh my goodness, I wished I had gotten a port. The first and third IVs left a REALLY bad burn on my skin. The first was in my hand on 4/18 and although it's healing well, there is still some discoloration. The second infusion, on problems. The third IV was placed in my arm opposite my elbow and it too left a bad burn and bruise. Now I have one more treatment next week and I'm scared because I have small veins anyway and the nurse always has a hard time finding a good vein.

      I understand your feelings about not wanting a port, but please reconsider because the damage to the veins from the chemo meds is painful and ugly. On the other hand, no nurse, doctor or anyone else should be pressuring you into getting a port. It should be YOUR decision.

      I wish you the best with your treatments.

      about 7 years ago
    • CindyA's Avatar

      I have the port and don't even know it's there. I can't use the arm where the lymph nodes were removed so that leaves one arm and I vein. The first port I had lasted through 3 chemos and my arm swelled. So I had it taken out and another one put in. Still a week heal time and the scar is tiny. I will be using the port for a year. Easy. Doesn't hurt and it is the best choice for me. I can't feel it at all.

      about 7 years ago
    • ArleneB's Avatar

      I had a PICC line hanging out of my arm for three months and hated it. Was always afraid when dressing, showering, and with kids and grand kids jumping in my lap. I had a port put in eight months ago and love it. It can be used for most anything. And unless you are very thin, it hardly shows. I wear tank tops and swimsuits all the time. And it beats having them trying to hit a vein - after a while,your veins will scar and become useless. They even used my port for antibiotics when I had pneumonia. But still remember it is your choice. Good luck.

      about 7 years ago
    • baridirects' Avatar

      I love my port so far - it was placed the same time I had my double mastectomy in late April, saving me the cost of an additional surgery. Of course, I'm a Lap Band patient, so having a port is no mystery to me. What I did know is that my good veins are on the left side, which they can no longer use due to my lymph node removal, so I'm happy to have such easy access. They were even willing to leave my access in overnight so that when I came back for fluids the next day, they didn't have to re-access the port site. What I'm sorry about is that you have felt so pressured over it - ultimately, it's your decision, but I think I would have to say that you may be doing yourself a disservice if you don't get one. As to the scarring, I've been working on my scars with BioOil, and it's clear that they are going to be hardly noticeable once they are fully healed.

      about 7 years ago
    • reed62's Avatar

      I was supposed to get my port before my first chemo, but was not back from my honeymoon in time (Got stuck on the Big Island of Hawaii). I ended up with an extremely bad reaction from the taxotere at the injection site that has not gone away yet. I have had my port since then and am so happy to have it so I don't have to worry about further damage. They say some of the drugs are extremely hard on your veins/arteries too. Sometimes, I wish the port wasn't there because it does stick out and doesn't look good with tank tops, but that is only cosmetic. I would highly recommend it!

      about 7 years ago
    • suz55's Avatar

      I found the port made my chemo treatments much easier. I have very small veins, and it made the whole process go more smoothly. Toward the end of my treatments, they were having difficulty accessing my veins in my arm for lab work, so I believe my veins really would have been shot from the infusions. Also, when I needed a transfusion because of my anemia, it was much easier on me.

      about 7 years ago
    • maggiebarnett's Avatar

      I truly get what you are saying but as a cancer patient and as a nurse the port is so important. Chemo does so much damage to your veins. The side that you had the surgery on should never have a blood draw or blood pressure taken. So if having lots of chemo, a port is needed just to preserve the vascular integrity of your other arm. If someone ends up in the hospital with low numbers, an the doctor orders antibiotics STAT, it is the only time that antibiotics are ordered STAT, because minutes count if your Nader is low. So thinking about that, it is just best to have one. I have a power port and they will have to tackle me and hog tie me to take it out. But I have crappy access. So this is a great thing for me, prior to scans I don't have to be stuck again and again and again. When I was in the hospital for 23 days 3 years ago for a non-cancer related illness, I had to PICC lines and they were a godsend, or I would have needed 3 IV lines. There is great numbing cream to apply prior to accessing the port so it barely hurts.

      about 7 years ago
    • Fortyniner's Avatar

      I have a port cause I had to receive chemo every
      Three weeks for six months then I need to continue
      The Herseptive 2 dose for the rest of the year so the port
      Works great its better then being poked in the arm
      Each time so I say have a port . God bless and take
      Care ill be checking on your progress hugs to you

      about 7 years ago
    • goodbyegirls' Avatar

      I had a port for my four months of chemo. It protected my blood vessels and surrounding tissue from damage. It was removed about 6 weeks after I finished chemo. It did mean another scar, but it's a very small one compared to the two six inch scars from my double mastectomy. If you do decide on a port (it should not be forced on you), ask for some Lidocaine cream to put on the area about 2 hours before they access it. For me, it made the process painless, but I had to ask for something for the brief but intense pain when they inserted the special needle.

      almost 7 years ago
    • ggort's Avatar

      “I am a person who is grateful for her port. Makes every infusion and blood draw less painful and much less stressful for me.” Including having CTScans. It might look a bit funny but a lot better for chemo in my opinion then getting stuck all the time. Also easier taking the chemo caddy home for 46 hours

      almost 7 years ago
    • figaro's Avatar

      I am an RN with many years experience working in interventional radiology, assisting with implanting ports. I also have a port myself. It is a godsend. I have decent veins but they are small. I would never make it through chemo without a port. There are far more pros than cons. Pros: chemo will damage your veins if your chemo lasts for a long time, there is always a danger of the IV perforating the vein and chemo leaking into the tissue-very serious. Port takes seconds to access. Cons: it is there all the time, hard to forget you have cancer, does get annoying with seat belt but I have some felt around my seat belt which works well. That said, I can only say it was RUDE and insensitive of them to ambush you. They should present the benefits to you and allow you to decide. After all, it is your body. The decision to have a port should depend on how long and how often you will get chemo, also you can have a port implanted at any time if you have to. Be sure to choose a doctor with a lot of experience. Ask the nurses who puts in the best ports. If you have a cancer center close by check there for a doctor with lots of experience. If you still choose not to have a port take care of your veins. After chemo put a warm (warm not hot) pack on the area for a bit just to keep the arm warm. It will help keep your veins in good shape. Good luck.

      almost 7 years ago
    • still_fighting's Avatar


      When I had to take my first chemo my veins were plump and easy to access. The chemo was so harsh on me that I had to go for blood transfusions and those needles hurt badly and tore up my veins. My oncologist recommended that I get a port and I did. It was so much better than getting stuck over and over again so they could find a vein. My arms would be black and blue (literally) from being jabbed so many times. Getting my 1st port was a cinch. I had it put in one day, and had my chemo out of it the next. It worked like a dream through the rest of my 1st chemo treatments and the 2nd chemo treatments, but when it was time to start my 3rd round of chemo it felt like someone was trying to pull my port out. They did all kinds of xrays and injected dyes to find out what was wrong and they found that my catheter had a leak. I then had to schedule a replacement. The surgeon said he would take out my old port and if he could, he would replace it there but if he couldn't he would have to put it on the other side. He put it in where my old was. Boy did it hurt for about 4 days but in the long run it is still worth it. My cancer center and surrounding hospitals do not access my port for anything other than my chemo treatments. They still do blood draws from my arms but it is better than using me as a pin cushion. It took a while to get used to looking down and seeing the huge bump of the port, and like when you hurt your hand and try so hard NOT to hurt the injured hand and you keep hurting it anyway...that's how it was for me and my port. Wrestling with seat belts, banging it with odd things, it was like the harder I tried NOT to put in it harms way...the more it happened. I will always have a port. It will never come out. I have accepted it and am thankful to have it. So yes, I am pro-port. God bless each of you and keep fighting!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Marisol's Avatar

      I am glad with my Port, indeed I do not remember being asked if I did not want it. Surgery was extremely simple and it never gave any trouble. I still wear it like a Sheriff's star, show it off whenever required and I do not feel any urgency to see it being removed because it did a great job! Otherwise I would have had to sacrifice my veins, I am bruising very easily just when I rub my skin with hydrating milk after shower and moreover It is very practical for any blood test now that chemo is over (I finished in March and we are in August) and I have a new control in September. It is the latest gadget I would bring to a cash converter!

      almost 7 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      We have had a lot of conversation on the site about ports and WhatNexters asking if they should get a port put in for chemo. This popular topic inspired a beginner's guide called "What is a chemo port?"


      If you still have questions about ports or want to read more personal insights from others, this guide discusses what it is, when it is used, port placement, port insertion and surgery, port care, chemo port removal, and why you would want a port.

      Check it out and share your port story.

      Thank you all for your comments,

      almost 7 years ago
    • Beverley's Avatar

      I don't know how this would have worked without the port. I would never want those drugs pushed thorough my veins. I already have small, rolling veins so I always have a measure of anxiety because of the countless times I've had to have two or three people try before they got it right which left bruising. For me, it was a small price to pay for no pain!

      almost 7 years ago
    • millsmom's Avatar

      After my first IV infusion of chemotherapy, I opted for a port. My surgeon scheduled my surgery so it would coincide with my next chemotherapy dose. What a difference! I'm so glad I decided to agree to it! My veins slowly got smaller and smaller with each weekly blood draw, I can't imagine what would have happened if I chose to keep getting my chemo via IV. I did, however, choose to have it removed as soon as I was done with my last round of chemo. I didn't want any more reminders of my breast cancer.

      almost 7 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      You could also check out this article on "To port or not to port?"


      Thank you for your comments,

      almost 7 years ago
    • maryde's Avatar

      I was facing 6 months of chemo every three weeks for 3mo.;And every week for 3 mo.;and 12mo of Herceptin infusions. Being practical, decided why not make life easier. I ended up with it being done twice..gen. Surgeon the first time and they couldn't draw blood...went with anesthesiologist second time ...he found first one had a kink so replaced it and worked beautifully for18 months of treatment! Two 1" scars that basically are hidden under anything I wore. The seat belt issue was remedied by a 7" padded tube with Velcro closure that wrapped around belt. They gave them away in chemo room. Now, the pink cloud is overhead again, I will be having bilateral on Sept 9 and if pathology warrants chemo again...you betcha' I will have a port again.

      almost 7 years ago
    • amy-Jo's Avatar

      Although your original article said that to get the port was a personal choice, my doctor STRONGLY encouranged me to get the port - he really wanted me to get it. At the time, I was in a blur, so I just followed his advice - even tho I didn't like the idea of a foreign object in my body at the time. Also, because of my new condition, I am not allowed to have any XXX in one of my arms, due to the removal of lymph nodes there. Thus, I was down to one arm. I didn't think I would be happy, but in the end, I am glad that I got the port. No failed sticks in your arm, hands or even elsewhere. Also, the surgeon who did my port did a really good job, so you don't even notice it unless you know about it.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Scouser's Avatar

      Having a port sticking out in my chest was a reminder of my sister who had passed away a year earlier after an 8 month battle,when ever I saw my port it took me straight back to seeing her port sticking out of her chest and watching her as the her weight dropped .My oncologist said he wouldn't do treatment unless I had one placed so, I had no choice.It took the longest time to heal the stitches wouldn't dissolve it became red and swollen ,only when my nurse pulled the stitches out did it heal up. I truly had a love/ hate relationship with my port, but in the scheme of things it was the rational thing to do, if chemo had gone into my tissue by mistake I would of been in trouble..My port ended up being my best friend even though i didn't want it....

      almost 7 years ago
    • BarbaraHobbs' Avatar

      When my cancer first appeared 20 years ago, ports were huge and I was determined not to have one this time around. But now they are small and I decided to go with it. I'm glad I did. I was black and blue for about 2 weeks after it was inserted. I don't know if this is common or just my experience. And it does stick out so I feel that there is something there if I happen to touch it, but I have frequent chemotherapy so I'm glad it is there. Makes chemo much easier.

      almost 7 years ago
    • cheygrl's Avatar

      I really like having a port. It barely shows and Avon's Banishing Cream is great for eliminating scars. I got the lidocaine prescription cream to take away the pain of the poke into the port. Otherwise, I don't feel anything and the infusion and blood draws are easy. It doesn't hurt at all when they take the needle out. (the lidocaine only lasts a little while) I'd much rather have the port than be poked in my veins every week. I have chemo every 3 weeks and Herceptin every week. God is blessing you!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Sherber's Avatar

      The whole process is disturbing. You know what is right for you. My veins are terrible so I had to have one. I was glad for it for chemo, blood work and all the scans. It is gone now still have little horizontal scar. Ports have issues too, but they don't stick out of your chest. They should have approached you about this before your many surgeries. Talk to your doctor about it, pros/cons, cost and placement.

      almost 7 years ago
    • TerrieA's Avatar

      I am very happy I got my port. It has made life so much easier. I don't really pay attention to it anymore. I have two more treatments to go and to tell the truth I can't wait to get it taken out but would have one put in again if needed. I hope this helps! BEST WISHES!!!

      almost 7 years ago
    • CDrake's Avatar

      I love my port! It has saved many aggravations vs not having it including having veins give out because of chemo drugs. Yes it felt foreign at first but I do feel like I have more control over how I'm getting poked and prodded. It's my choice to minimize the damage chemo is doing to me and the port saves way more than the minor inconveniences caused. The one advice I would give is put it on the opposite side from which you are dominant. ie. if you are right handed put it on the left. Or if you tend to sleep more on your left side put it on your right.

      almost 7 years ago
    • barbdee's Avatar

      Consider the injectable port another friend to help you! Why put your arms/veins thru the massive beating during chemo? I will keep mine for well over a year before finishing treatment & I am so glad I listened to my doctor.

      almost 7 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      I am pro-port. To me, it was so worth it. I have trouble with my veins not cooperating during any kind of i.v. type of thing, so the best thing I could do was get a port. It makes it so easy. They just spray the site with a numbing spray, and put the needle in each time for chemo. I knew I would have to have treatments for over a year, so this just helped me get through it. The port is only the size of a quarter, so when it is taken out in a few months, it will only be about an inch long scar. To me, it was just the better choice. Reconsider it. And if you get into treatment and you decide a port would be a good idea, ask your doctor and they will get you one. It's up to you to see what is the best choice. Good luck.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Angiethg's Avatar

      Angie , I hate my port ( I can't hug my children any more ) , but it is so easy to use it makes chemo so much easier !

      over 6 years ago
    • DoItAgainNancy's Avatar

      Had a port 20 years ago because cytoxin is damaging to veins. Using taxotere instead this time so no port. IVs not a prob. I'm a nurse and your nurse is prob the best judge of whether your veins can handle it. I didn't like that port sticking out of me.

      over 6 years ago
    • ITLBOK's Avatar

      A port is the safest way to receive chemo. Easy to put in and take out. Why risk it?

      over 6 years ago
    • betgibbs' Avatar

      I had 2 breast cancer surgeries and a pediatric port was placed during the 2nd surgery. I felt it easier easier than being probed for every chemo treatment.

      over 6 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      I had a port installed and love it. It just made my life easier. I hate needles.

      over 6 years ago
    • maryclark's Avatar

      I'm not one of the good ones. I got a port put in Oct,2013 (today is March,2014) unable to use port and Dr. says nothing wrong with what he did and will not fix it and lost my ins. so in plane english I'm screwed. I hurt everyday now have had to call off of work because of it. Oh I know it's not the port is my problem it's oh the know it all Dr.

      over 6 years ago
    • mstrouble's Avatar

      My breast specialist wanted to remove more lymph nodes after testing positive in one and put in a port, my medical oncologist vetoed that idea. He said I could handle it without more nodes being removed or port, but I only had 4 rounds of chemo. And I have TERRIBLE veins, you can see them but they roll and blow.

      over 6 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar

      I have HERS2 positive breast cancer so will have chemo for a year. I was very anxious about port placement as I faint at the sight of a needle. A wonderful APRN talked me through the procedure and I had it put in last Thursday and used it Friday. The incision itches and it sticks out of my chest a bit but it sure beats needle sticks for a year. P

      about 6 years ago
    • jtrombley's Avatar

      I was told that I did not need a port (be spared yet another surgery since I had had many!) because my veins were excellent; let's change that to WERE excellent. After four rounds of chemo, I developed cystitis and multiple infections. They had to put in a PICC line for antibiotics and to finally finish the rest of the chemo rounds. (I had lymph nodes removed from the other arm so it could not be used.) A PICC line is high maintenance and is annoying to keep dry while showering. It also made it difficult to do my physically demanding job that I had to keep on doing to keep my health insurance and pay the bills! I wish I had insisted on a port. It would have been better for the long run.

      about 6 years ago
    • jtrombley's Avatar

      Oh, I forgot to include the fact that now every time I get blood work done or need an IV line, the phlebotomists complain about my bad veins! They have to use a pediatric needle and it is a big ordeal every time; I end up with multiple bruises.

      about 6 years ago
    • LynnT's Avatar

      Love, love, love my port! Recieved vesicant chemo so would have severe tissue damage if any chemo leaked out of the vein. Last chemo was over a year ago and I still have my port. Get it flushed every 8 weeks but want to keep it "just in case".

      about 6 years ago
    • jugsila8's Avatar

      I finished chemo in April & still have my port. I had no problem getting it cause I knew that most chemo drugs are vesicants and I didn't want any complications.

      about 6 years ago
    • Nanajen's Avatar

      I am being treated for stage 3 breast cancer. I had my port installed in February of 2014, and it has been used every since. I went for chemo treatments every three weeks. I am now only receiving Herceptin and that will end in February of 2015. I get the Herceptin every three weeks and weekly blood draws using my port. Up until now I had no problems with my port. I had a double mastectomy and my port was used during surgery. Now they have just discovered that I have a blood clot in the right atrium of my heart. They said the clot is caused by the end of the catheter that is attached to my port is what has caused the blood clot. I see the cardiologist tomorrow., and was just put on Cumadin to try to dissolve the clot. I just pray all works out for me. But I have not heard of many people having problems with their ports. I guess I am just one of the few that did have a problem.

      almost 6 years ago
    • sshel55's Avatar

      I have a PowerPort and am very grateful that I had it. It made chemo easier. I never needed the numbing cream. Just a slight sting. I hate venipunctures so for me it was not a difficult decision. But I really wasn't asked whether I wanted it. It was standard protocol.

      about 5 years ago
    • sheila56's Avatar

      Some chemo can not be given via your veins is what the oncology nurse told me; "the little red devil" is one that can't be so you would need a port to receive that one. A port is just easier is my opinion. I have had two and if I were ever to need chemo again I would want a port placed. The hardest for me was when they removed it; I was in the doctors office. I would rather be in the OR; but that is too costly if you aren't having something else done.

      almost 5 years ago
    • punalei's Avatar

      I chose not to have a port. I was scheduled for 4 chemo treatments, so why have 2 surgeries for a port? It was completely unnecessary. The chemo worked fine, even though I have small veins. I had Cytoxan and Docetaxal.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Riva's Avatar

      I had a different experience. My doctor did not offer a port--I had to demand it myself. I was not at all enamored of the idea of a PICC line and the difficulties of caring for it; nor did I want to have it done with an IV given the toxicity of any error or "spill" that people have mentioned. I had also spoken to a friend who had the port and she was in favor of it; also, a pediatric oncology nurse recommended it and said she'd make that choice if it were her. It does depend, as people have said, on the number of treatments you have.
      I was glad to have it, but also equally glad to get it removed. It is a ghastly reminder.

      over 4 years ago
    • Celste51's Avatar

      I had my port put in today. I was nervous but it didn't hurt at all and this evening when I was expecting it to be sore I find it isn't. It is called a power port and apparently makes the whole chemo process a lot faster which I find preferable. However, I don't believe anyone should be pressurized if they don't want one. I actually wasn't even asked if I wanted one. My oncologist said that I should have one and I just accepted it as I figure she knows best.

      over 4 years ago
    • Plaap's Avatar

      I was happy to have the port placed because I don't have good veins and it made my chemo treatments much easier. It also helped when I was admitted to the hospital twice. However, it did hurt and bother me a lot. Seat belts rubbed on it and the grand baby was always whacking it. I dohave metastatic breast cancer but I am doing okay right now so I had it removed as soon as I could. If I need it again so be it, but hopefully not for a long while.

      about 4 years ago
    • HighTops5380's Avatar

      I have tiny, hard-to-find, easily irritated veins and without a port all the infusions and blood draws would have left me in a horrible state. I had my port put in at the same time my surgery was done, which saved me a second procedure (plus I was already under a general). I had no pain with it, no discomfort, no problems whatsoever. I was really squeamish about having it taken out so insisted on concious sedation. A good idea, considering the procedure took about an hour. With only a local I'd have been a nervous wreck. I described all this in more detail on my blog.

      about 4 years ago
    • HighTops5380's Avatar

      Oops. My blog is at https://curvesahead.wordpress.com/

      about 4 years ago
    • Godsgirl3's Avatar

      I had stage 2 breast cancer. I got a port. I had chemo every 3 weeks for 12 weeks and then I had the port taken out. I had a lot of bruising when they put the port in and a lot when they took it out but my chemo went very well. A couple of times they had trouble drawing blood but the chemo always went in.

      about 4 years ago
    • punalei's Avatar

      I said no to the port, even though they tried and tried to talk me into it. I only had 4 chemo treatments. Why have 2 surgeries to avoid 4 IV's? My veins are small, but the oncology nurses were fantastic at hitting them. They had to run the infusion slowly anyway because I was having allergic reaction to taxol. I suffered no adverse consequences. I think it was just for their convenience.

      about 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      For anyone that is just browsing the site and reading, please go ahead and join us. Register by clicking here www.whatnext.com and filling in your diagnosis, stage, and other information about your cancer experiences so far. If you need help, have questions, or have something to add to the conversations, please join in!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Virgy57's Avatar

      I had a port 3 years ago by my hematologist who requested it but the surgeon had a port that's only would it not draw blood and that's the main reason I have to put because I have really bad pains so every time I go for my blood transfusion or iron infusions the nurses have such a hard time trying to draw my blood that I have to go home drink gallons and gallons of Gatorade to no avail they found me just do a finger stick so we spoke to the doctor to ask him if he can talk to the surgeon regarding changing this port well he will not change his mind so I ask my doctor the hematologist if I could recommend another surgeon but because they're in the same group he refuses to do that any advice? I cannot see another surgeon unless I'm cleared by the hematologist was in cahoots with the surgeon that put in the wrong port I'm having such a hard time I was just in the hospital and the IV team came in and they still couldn't find my veins even with the ultrasound machine finally one of the doctors in the ER decided to start an IV on my neck so much red tape but I am the one that's suffering I don't know what to do I have to go back tomorrow and I know they're not going to draw my blood because they could never get it sometimes the residents would order a PICC line but not all the time what should I do

      over 1 year ago

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