• what was it like having a port put in??

    Asked by HGWWW on Friday, October 26, 2012

    what was it like having a port put in??

    I have tissues expenders and port already in for the reconstruction and am nervous about having anything else put into my chest right now. I was told this procedure took 1 1/2 hours?

    23 Answers from the Community

    23 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I just had my Port put in in August. It's a simple short (45 min in and out) guided CT procedure. They give me a sedative and mild pain killer via IV, and and local anesthesia. The inserted a line through the major vein in my neck (right side), then create a pocket on my right breast done to insert the port - connect the line to the port and closed me up.(my MD used dissoluble stitches, but the can also use surgical glue or tape). I was awake and talking to the team, who explained what was happening step by step. The worst part for me was 1) inserting the IV line it took 3 tries, as my veins were collapsing after 2+ months of chemo 2)sore neck for several days - I was facing to the left during the entire procedure. Ice and Tylenol helped with the minimal pain the next few days. I got to the Hospital at 8 and was home by 11:30 - so as you can see most of the time spent was pre(registering,get to the area, vitals, inserting IV, etc) and post op stuff. which included an hour stay in recovery after I was done.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I'm confused. Are you having a second port put in?

      My port is well above where my breasts use to be, so I don't think a port placement, even a second one, would interfere with your reconstruction if that is your concern. When I had mine put it, I don't think I was unconscious more than an hour (probably a little less) so the procedure itself took even less than that. Since they gave me general anesthesia, I obviously didn't feel anything during the procedure and I didn't have any pain afterwards. However, the anesthesia made me nauseous and I couldn't keep anything down for the rest of the day, but was fine by the next morning.

      over 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      It was a snap. They knocked me out, and I woke up later with it in. The recovery was very easy, and the pain was surprisingly minimal. I felt uncomfortable about it for a while, but I've quickly become accustomed to it. The hardest part was losing a few key sleeping positions, but I have since gotten over that too and sleep however I want :)

      over 8 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I had my port implanted laproscopically under local anesthesia. It was about 20 minutes. I had some bruising afterwards at the port site but I bruise really easily, so you might not bruise at all. No one in my area did the port implant this way so I had to travel about 90 minutes to get it done laproscopically, but it was worth it.

      over 8 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I had my port placed under conscious sedatiuon, but that always knocks me right out, so I don't remember anything. I think it took about 45 minutes with minimal pain afterwards. I was protective of my port because if it was hit by something, it would hurt, but otherwise nothing bothered me.
      It quickly became my life line, and I grew an attachment to my port :)

      over 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I had two put in, first one quit working, both in the operating room under local anesthesia. The second one was taken out just a few years ago after me refusing to let it go. I was very attached to it, literally and figuratively. It is a very nice thing to have to not be stuck in the arm or hand all the time. One of the few procedures that I was glad to have. Well, I guess I was glad to get the cancer cut out of me too.

      over 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I had mine put in under general anesthetic, so I didn't feel it, but I was out of surgery in about an hour, I had some mild pain at the site of insertion, but that was it. I was drinking soda and before I left the hospital, and ate a sandwich when I got home! Best of luck to you! Hugs your way!

      over 8 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Just remember that everyone is different. My friend described hers as "in-and-out" in less than an hour. I was under general anesthesia and the procedure itself took more than two hours due to my "funky anatomy." So I was in the hospital for about 1/2 day. I'm jealous of those who had no problems and whizzed through.

      I would definitely not plan to do anything strenuous for the next day or so. I was very bruised, sore and couldn't move my shoulder, neck or head for a few days.

      I had a love-hate relationship with my port. I was so grateful to have it because it spared my veins, but I didn't like that it was a constant reminder even when I wasn't on chemo. Despite all the problems I had with it, I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I had to.

      over 8 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I had a port placed while I was under general anesthesia, so I don't remember much. I am a little confused why you need a second port.

      over 8 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      Mine was done under general anesthesia. It did take 1/2 the day, but most of that was sitting there waiting. I was brought something to eat right after. I was starving at that point.
      Mine is still tender ( I had it done in March) but it is so easy to get hooked up for chemo. I don't have the black and blue marks on my arms like my mom did when she had chemo. Good luck. This should be a breeze after your surgery taking very little recovery time. In fact the bandage they used to cover it was more uncomfortable than the incision.

      over 8 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      They gave me what they call Twilight. I was in and out. It doesnt hurt much if at all. Then you just have to get used to having something under your skin. After a time you forget it is there. :)

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      I didn't want a port... My clinic said I didn't have to have one on the outside. They did insert one in my abdomine (well actually it was place on a rib..) I got my I/P infusions through that port. They would simply insert a needle through the incision scar (no pain) and hook up the tubing. The chemo filled saline solution would then slosh around in my abdomine and kill any stray cancer cells looking for a home.. Got them all.

      over 8 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      I asked to be put out for day stay procedure as I didn't want to hear anything. I did have some pain afterwards so thankful I had filled percocet prescription. Though it didn't agree with me by evening, so doc prescribed tylenol with codeine as a backup as going into Easter weekend. I did manage better on Ibuprofen.

      over 8 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      The procedure is fairly straightforward and relatively simple, especially if you've recently had a major surgery to rid the main cancer. However, you shouldn't assume that there is no pain or major bruising afterwards. It took several weeks for the really large bruises to go away, and strong Tylenol during the day as well as oxycodone at night were both required for about a week. Maybe I'm just not tough enough, and maybe most everyone else is, but I never really was comfortable with the port except for its actual use during chemotherapy infusions. It was always uncomfortable enough that I even avoided touching it myself. Even in the shower it was uncomfortable to clean the area the entire 5 months that it was in place. When it was removed, I told the surgical team that putting it in was painful, so they used a different anesthetic which worked better for the removal procedure. Again, there was major, major bruising that took about 3 weeks to clear up. The problem for port installation is that you don't know if a particular twilight anesthetic doesn't work well for you until after it is too late. So I don't want to frighten everyone, but please don't assume that everything is easy. It wasn't for me.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Heck, I kinda hate to answer this for you but, from what else I've read here, my experience was unusual. I clearly remember the doctor (male & from, I believe, the Philippines which ought to not matter but read my story) telling me he wanted me conscious and sitting up during the surgery and talking about local anesthetics and my cooperation and such. I explained to him that I was not a good candidate for such a thing and it would be difficult, if at all possible, for me to remain cooperative and still if I was awake to see what he was doing and would he please just knock me out, which he reluctantly agreed to do.

      I've no idea how much later I awoke and someone sat me up. It was me who did that. The pain was intense. Much like if someone had just stabbed me, which in fact, was exactly what had just happened. The nurse came over smiling and lightly touched the front of my shoulder perhaps to get me to arise and follow her from where I was sitting and to find out, I suppose, why I was sobbing. When she touched me, waves of new pains shot through me and I screamed through my tears. I could see the doctor exiting the room.

      The nurse was discomforted but no one ever offered me any pain medication. The only solace I was offered was a short statement or two "It shouldn't hurt so much." "Only doctor can order pain medication.". I've not ever given up the belief that this surgeon purposefully treated me with such disdain because I dared to question or change his authority and methodology and was perceived by him as uncooperative and just a woman to boot.

      When that port fell out and I was told to have a new one put in (I have scars like claw marks on each of my shoulders above my breasts), I used a different doctor despite the first one being described as "the best". I don't remember much about the second one as it was done later into the treatment and was, comparatively, like a flea bite.

      You need to find out why the docs think you need a second distinct and separate port. It seems to me that one ought to serve all purposes as it is simply an entry into your bloodstream. It isn't like the docs each need their own private doorway into you with their meds, is it?

      Best wishes for recovered good health.

      over 8 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Oh, I do also remember how discomforting it was to have the tubes dangling from my chest. A nurse was sent to my house twice a week to make sure the tubing stayed clean and clear. She eventually helped me to tape the tubes to my body in a failed effort to have them stay in place.

      over 8 years ago
    • jenpwrs' Avatar

      I really identify with this quesstion! During surgery to debulk my tumors, I had complications that led to other surgers. I think this is what made me so scared to get a port. Everyone told me that it was nothing, but I refused to believe it. I put it off as long as possible- until I had to miss a treatment because the nurses couldn't find a vein. Well, they were right. It was nothing. I was home by early afternoon. I don't think I took anything for pain. A year later, I had an infection and had to have a new one put in. Again, it was nothing. I see people in chemo who don't have ports, generally because they are worried about the procedure. It certainly beats the digging for a vein. With both of my ports, once they had been accessed several times, I couldn't even feel the stick. It sounds like with what you have already had done, this should be nothing to you as well. Good luck!!!

      over 8 years ago
    • 1Survivor4life's Avatar

      My port was nice to have because they never poked my arm again. When I had my Stem Cell Transplant it had to be removed and HIckman double line was in its place so I could have Aphreisis. It was almost the same procedure. I had a little drugs to make me sleepy and I was able to watch and listen to the whole thing. The funny part about this time was I was at Stanford Hospital where the doctors are students. The doctors doing my prodcedure were split from Stanford University and Cal State. It just so happened that day was the big rival football game. They were trash talking each other about their teams when one of them asked in the middle of the procedure, Bill who do you think will win? Looking at having one side not happy with my answer and all of them sticking things like scalples and tubes in me I said, I don't like football. If you knew me or seen I obviously love and played the game. I just chose to avoid the subject during a surgical procedure where I was the patient. I laugh now when I see Grey Anatomy because that is how childish and crazy doctors can be. When they removed the tubes that were hanigng out of my chest for two and half months, Yes it was that long I was relieved. I was tired of cleaning it and wondering when it was going to end. That was an easier procedure. A nurse stood on the table and pulled it out like she was starting an old lawn mower. The stories always seem funnier the further away the get form when they happened. Just think of the cool stories you will have when it is over. Keep a journal. God Bless.

      over 8 years ago
    • booboo's Avatar

      I had my port put in under "twilight" and it was quick and painless. I was on a chemo pump 24 hrs/day 5 days/week so the port was essential. The best part about having the port was the day the doctor said I could have it removed because I knew if there was any chance I might need more treatment he would not have let me have it removed. It saved my veins and let me do chemo and still work. Good luck with yours, I hope it goes as well as mine did.

      over 8 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      No big deal - quite honestly I hate surgery, I'm somewhat of a control freak and don't like being put out. But all went well and in a couple weeks I hardly paid any attention to it. I only notice it when shaving in the morning (yup, I still shave even though there are very few hairs growing) and when the wife or grand kids hug me just a bit too aggressively. Oh, yes and then there are the yoga moves (I can't do) that stretch parts of me that haven't stretched since I was 2 months old. The actual placement in my right chest was smooth as any surgery I've ever had.

      Don't worry, mine was about 45 minutes as I recall.

      Keep it positive and smile

      over 8 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      I found port placement to be a simple procedure. It was done under local anesthesia and took ?maybe 30 minutes. I had very little pain. I do, however, relate to your anxiety. I have had my port since Jan.2012

      over 8 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      HGWWW, 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 and a beginner's guide that provides your own insights shared about ports.

      Blog Article

      Beginner's Guide "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.

      As always thank you for your input,

      almost 8 years ago
    • odyjones' Avatar

      Having my Bard power port installed under twilight was 45 mins in and out. I am now on day 3 after and thank god for pain pills, the pain in my chest and up my neck is awful, if I had known it would be this bad I prolly would have declined the port. I know in the long run I will be happy I have it as I am looking at 6 months of chemo but right now its painful and I am not a pain wienie...Make sure you get a pain script for home.

      over 4 years ago

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