• Someone wanted to know the pros and cons of a port

    Asked by GregP_WN on Thursday, July 4, 2019

    Someone wanted to know the pros and cons of a port

    What would you say? List what you think are the pros and cons of getting a chemo port put in.

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • alivenwell's Avatar
      alivenwell

      Pros: Once in it has to be far more convenient to administer chemo over an intravenous method. Very quick to remove. You can leave the oncologist office to go home wearing a pump.
      Cons: Port has to be regularly flushed. It requires surgery to install port. You probably have to wear a pump in a small shoulder bag.

      5 months ago
    • JaneA's Avatar
      JaneA

      It's the only way to go if you're going to have to have more than 3 cycles of chemo. I've had my port almost 5 years and no problems. I'm NED but was Stage IV so we just haven't crossed that bridge about removing it yet. I get it flushed every six weeks.

      5 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      The flushing is no big deal. Just a syringe or two of saline to keep it functioning. It takes less than five minutes. And that is only every six weeks or so, after you are done getting chemo
      Pros:
      Saves your veins.
      The nurses can use numbing spray so no pain.
      Easy installation. Under twilight anesthesia. And you can start chemo the next day.
      Makes getting chemo easier then getting it in your veins. Mine have a tendency to roll and move.
      Easy to remove once chemo is finished.
      Cons:
      A bump on your chest where port is. I had a hard time finding a Mother of the Bride dress that wouldn't show this bump.
      Difficulties do happen. Sometimes they don't work properly and have to be changed.
      It is minor surgery.
      You end up with a scar.

      All in all, it's an individual decision. But I loved my port and thought it was the best idea for me, with my crazy veins.

      5 months ago
    • Kylerem's Avatar
      Kylerem

      Having the port implanted was a great decision. It saves your veins-they tend to collapse the longer you are on chemo. Also I felt that it was nice having my arms free from tubes when receiving chemo. If you’re in the hospital they can just draw blood directly from it rather than sticking you every day-or twice a day!! I have mine flushed every 6 weeks which is really not an issue. I do try and wear shirts that cover it but again, not an issue. The pros outweigh the cons for sure

      5 months ago
    • myb's Avatar
      myb

      Agree with port for chemo as makes access easy and fail-proof. At Upenn, I had to keep for 6 months after chemo and was able to use for scans IV Contrast.

      5 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      I agree with all of the above. I think having the port was great. I would recommend it to everyone who needs chemo.

      5 months ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      Totally agree. I can't think of any cons, to be honest.

      5 months ago
    • msndrstood's Avatar
      msndrstood

      I have one and I'm finished treatment but chose to keep it in for at least another year. I even found a bathing suit that covers it, so no big deal! I'm going to keep it in as long as possible in case of relapse. Just my choice, you can have it removed right after chemo is completed, most docs give you the option. I can't think of any cons at the moment other than my 2 year old grand daughter is fascinated with it every time she looks down my shirt for my missing boobs. Lol, that part she doesn't quite understand.

      5 months ago
    • Sasukesuma's Avatar
      Sasukesuma

      Have you ever had blood work and it takes several painful tries to find a vein. I even had a doctor hit an artery instead of a vein. Blood geyser. Black and blue for weeks. None of that is a problem with a port. The surgery to implant it is going to be the easiest thing you are going to go through. Flushing every 6 weeks is so easy and I get to see my friends at the cancer center. You become very close to them. They only thing I would suggest is that if you have to go in for any kind of scan or surgery you should go see an oncology nurse the day before to access it for you. They are pros and when they access you barely feel a thing. Hospital nurses are hit and miss. Some of them have very little experience with accessing a port some are great. And...you don’t feel the port. You don’t even notice it’s there.

      5 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      One other pro: the port can be used for chemo, tests that require dye, and blood draws. The port was the best thing for chemo.

      5 months ago
    • BugsBunny's Avatar
      BugsBunny

      + 1 for yes you need to get one! I had about 3 treatments without one. Those spots on my hands and arms can't be used again now because it made the veins hard. The port is easy stuff, using it and having put in both.

      5 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I will also say the port is the best way to go. I had two of them, the first one quit working and had to be replaced. That was done in the operating room under local anesthesia. I was awake while the doctor was operating, him and the nurses were talking about what they were going to do that weekend and thought I was asleep. My shoulder was twitching and jerking when he would cut and I asked why that was. He was surprised and told them to give me more meds.

      I kept mine for 15 years after my last treatment. I didn't want to give it up, then when I finally did have it out, I was diagnosed for the third time 3 years later.

      5 months ago
    • Dkatsmeow's Avatar
      Dkatsmeow

      I didn't get a port, but I didn't get any chemo. I didn't used to be bothered by being stuck with a needle. However I have been stuck so many times, I can't stand to see a needle anymore. I actually cringe. And my veins have blockages in them now or they will blow. My sister had a port when she had leukemia. It was no biggie, we just had to flush it once a day. Of course they have better ports now. More flush to the body. hers would dangle. the only problem we had was when we took her to the beach, not that it really mattered by then as she was terminal. Still I was very concerned about her catching any type of bug. But it all went well & she had a great day.

      5 months ago
    • Woodsy1's Avatar
      Woodsy1

      I had a standard carbo/taxol treatment of 6 infusions, one every 3 weeks (for endometrial / ovarian cancer). I also had weekly blood tests. I did not have a port, and was happy with my decision.

      The pros of NO PORT were:
      No surgery
      No infection
      No flushing
      No constant reminder of cancer after treatment is finished
      The cons of NO PORT:
      It once took 3 tries to get a vein - but the nurse said the veins were fine - the first nurse was
      just inexperienced.

      Reasons you might be able to avoid a port:
      Good veins (ask your nurses!)
      Expected to have few treatments, and spaced far apart, not daily (my blood tests were taken
      from the inside of elbow, and did not affect the lower arm/wrist area veins used for chemo)
      Not expected to need additional rounds of chemo soon ( ie - surgery got all visible cancer,
      tumor markers decreased after surgery, etc)
      Chemo drugs that are not too corrosive for use in veins ( ask Dr.)

      If you go without a port:
      Hydrate! You should be drinking lots of water for chemo anyway
      Exercise a bit to get the blood flowing to that arm -lift a water bottle or something, or get one of
      those cheap hand-grip exerciser things. You may feel a bit silly in the waiting room , but it
      does actually help!
      Remember which arm / vein you used, so you can alternate sides/ locations

      5 months ago

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