• When to remove port?

    Asked by LynnT on Sunday, December 15, 2013

    When to remove port?

    My chemo finished 6 months ago and I was curious as to when does the port get taken out? It doesn't bother me and the RNs draw blood from it. Is it best to keep it in as "insurance" against needing more chemo...kind of ward off the evil cancer from returning, or is there reasons why it should not stay in long term. God Bless all of my fellow cancer fighters!

    36 Answers from the Community

    36 answers
    • BabsWon's Avatar
      BabsWon

      The nurses told me that my oncologist usually wants patients to keep the port for 2 years. Because I had consistently good blood work and my yearly mammogram was fine, he actually allowed it to be removed about 3 months early. I was happy because we were flying to Arizona for vacation and I didn't want to have any trouble getting through security. I guess you can ask what your oncologist recommends as to length of time to keep the port. My port did bother me sometimes because it was on my left side and the shoulder strap would hit it when I drove, and it didn't always work for blood draws. Good luck with yours.

      over 7 years ago
    • glam's Avatar
      glam

      Dear LynnT, I guess it varies from patient to patient and from oncologists to oncologists....ask your what is his recommendation.....in my case my oncologist has not mentioned anything about removing it yet but I know that here in Chile they can allow you to keep it for 05 years if the patient wants and there is no problem with the port......wishing you all the best....God bless you and continue blessing all of us

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      I had my port 3 weeks post chemo at my onc's recommendation...was happy to see it go!!

      over 7 years ago
    • HOBO's Avatar
      HOBO

      I hope to.Keep it as long as it is healthy. I have a huge phobia about anything invasive and the blood draws are far less traumatic and easier thru MY port.

      over 7 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar
      IKickedIt

      I'd talk to your oncologist. Ask him/her when and why. I think there are many things that go into it. My oncologist felt that my risk of recurrence was low (let's hope he's right!), so he told me to get it out after I had a clean PET scan, colonoscopy and blood work 3 months after I had finished my treatments. I couldn't wait to get it out! An argument for the removal is that it's a foreign body which always runs the risk of infection, but if the doctor feels that that risk is less than the risk of needed to use the port, he may recommend that you keep it in for a while. Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      Having a port in your body is certainly no insurance against cancer returning, and ports can be very problematic...they have to be cared for and flushed every month, and they can cause infections and blood clots. Mine caused infections at first but then it was alright, that is until about 6 months after I finished chemo then I got blood clots from it and almost died. So the SE from a port can be extremely serious. And most people in my support groups have had them taken out a few months after chemo was completed, maybe have it out now before things start to go wrong with it. Celebrate your success! Have a party!

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I kept one for over 15 years, it didn't bother me except for when I forgot it was there and would lean up against a door frame, ouch! I had the same thought, I would keep it "just in case". I had already had one, this was the second and i was told that the third if I needed it would have to go in the groin area, I didn't want any part of that so I just kept telling them "no, I'm good with it", every time they wanted to take it out.

      over 7 years ago
    • Rthompson's Avatar
      Rthompson

      I finished chemo in Dec 2010, yet my port remains. I think it is different for everyone. Relying on what your condition is following treatment and perceived future need of it. As for myself, I have relied heavily on mine for various visits into hospital for ivs, feedings, scans, etc as,my veins are pretty much kaput! I will probably never have mine out according to my oncologist. I have needed to receive flushes for mine twice when sheaths grew over tubing, but other than that no major problems. At my most recent "flushing" I finally asked if there was a time expiration on them or a time when they needed to come out and was told definitively "NO" They can stay in as long as needed and should cause no major complication, other than what I mentioned with the sheath. So, again, it is very individualized and best determined by you and your dr and what he/she feels lies ahead in your future.

      over 7 years ago
    • terrilynn's Avatar
      terrilynn

      i am 3 months out from finishing chemo and still have my port. my surgeon said it was up to me when it comes out, i get it flushed once a month and it doesn't bother me. right now its a security blanket and my fear of recurrence is keeping it in for now. April will be a year since my diagnoses, i am thinking of having it removed then. good luck with your decision!

      over 7 years ago
    • Chris17's Avatar
      Chris17

      My port doesnt bother me at all, have had it since 2008, and no pain, discomfort. I am glad it wasnt removed because i had a relapse in 2012, and i will know if im in remission next month, my last remission didnt last long, 14 months.

      over 7 years ago
    • Roses1018's Avatar
      Roses1018

      My last chemo was a year ago this month. My doctor said I can have it removed now. He recommended leaving in for one year after last chemo. Will have it removed in March wanted to wait until after the holidays and my next doctor's appointment in Feb.

      over 7 years ago
    • Samcharlie's Avatar
      Samcharlie

      Four years ago I finished chemo in early December and had the port out 3 weeks later. Taking it out was a Christmas gift from my surgeon. The port bothered me the entire time I had it. I think The oncologist let me have it taken out early because he was tired of hearing me complain about it! Ask your doctor about when you should have it out - everyone is different. Good luck!

      over 7 years ago
    • StamPurr's Avatar
      StamPurr

      I had mine for the 6 months of chemo and then when I had surgery to remove what remained of tumors, my surgeon removed it thru one of the incisions. My oncologist said nothing about keeping it or having it removed. Kind of like having it gone, but also worry that my little talisman is gone. I guess I could have another put in if it ever comes to that.

      over 7 years ago
    • woody's Avatar
      woody

      I was going to wait for 5 yrs but after 3 my oncologist ask why it was still there and called to have it removed so just had it 3 yrs after chemo. Wont need it anyways lol.

      over 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      i had a love hate relationship with mine and was happy to see it go! i wanted to approach the end of treatment with optimism that i'll never need one again! that's my deep hope - that i'll be NED for the long haul.

      loved how it made chemo easier. hated having a foreign object in my body like that… and hated the pulling feeling at the base of my neck and the fact that i couldn't use my messenger bag left-handed….

      seems like the answer to the port question is all over the map. my surgical oncologist wanted it to stay, but i said no. he said - okay… and removed it during my bilateral mastectomy. i was delighted to wake up without it and to NOT have an additional incision.

      good luck!

      over 7 years ago
    • nunnyperson's Avatar
      nunnyperson

      i finished my chemo then had 3 months of radiation then my port was removed 6 months later.....never had a problem with it.....good luck ....god bless....

      over 7 years ago
    • tatdai's Avatar
      tatdai

      I have had mine in for about 7years and I have mine flushed every 6mo.or so .I had a upper reaspertoryinfection in May and instead of having needlein my arm it much easier with mp port no. One ever told me when I should have remover maybe because my veins collapse

      over 7 years ago
    • flamingogirl's Avatar
      flamingogirl

      My oncologist told me 6 months. I see him next month on the 10th. Supposed to have another PET scan next month. If that comes back clean then mine gets removed. Mine bothers me from time to time. It will just start itching for no reason. It seems to know when port flush day is, as it starts to itch and kind of hurt the day before. I have noticed lately that the line connected to the vein will get kind of swollen and itchy too. It can be uncomfortable while sleeping sometimes. Not sure how I will feel when it does get removed.

      over 7 years ago
    • rosepetal57's Avatar
      rosepetal57

      No reason it cannot stay in long-term, as long as you have it flushed every 6 weeks. I had infections (complications) so ended up having about 6 months of IV antibiotics DAILY. My port was a Godsend.

      over 7 years ago
    • CathyG's Avatar
      CathyG

      I was diagnosed 1-2012, went through chemo. Kept port in "just in case". Had recurrence 10-2013. Other than getting it flushed every 6 weeks, no bother. Glad I kept it in. Don't like the scar as it sometimes shows with certain necklines and didn't want another if the cancer returned.

      over 7 years ago
    • Deb77's Avatar
      Deb77

      I haven't made a decision on removal of my port. I finished chemo in August '13 and get it flushed every two months. One of the nurses told me that she has a patient that has been getting his port flushed for 10 years! Since I have NHL and it's indolent/follicular I will likely keep it in for at least 2 years. Just to make sure :)

      over 7 years ago
    • PegC01's Avatar
      PegC01

      I have a port on my left side. But for some reason, my Surgeon put it a little lower than normal ...(so I was told) Anyway, I really want it out. I know I'm Healed...however, my Onc, told me that he wants to wait until April after my first Mammo and check-up with him, then he said we will discuss it....so we will see. It really doesn't bother me, except knowing that I have to go in every 6 weeks to get it flushed, which it doesn't all the time unless I throw my arm above my head and over to the left ( I look like I am some sort of radar)....Once in a while it will pinch and give some discomfort, but nothing to bad.

      over 7 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar
      DianaL

      I had mine out this past Friday. I kept it one year post chemo. I was ready for it to come out.

      over 7 years ago
    • tnblondee's Avatar
      tnblondee

      I had mine taken out after 2 years, it was very sensitive and my seatbelt laid right accross it and I didnt want to go through another summer with the lump on my chest. My neighbor kept his in for 8 years, it really just depends on the individual and their Doctors recommendation...

      over 7 years ago
    • Griffin's Avatar
      Griffin

      My port was just taken out after nine months of having it in. I finished chemo at the end of June.

      over 7 years ago
    • buch0262's Avatar
      buch0262

      I had a weird case where my radiation (which had been planned the whole time) was postponed by 3 months secondary to an infection. Then I had it in for 3 months after radiation for my weekly follow-up blood draws. Once that was good, they decided to take it out because the risk of infection outweighed the extremely helpful benefit of access (My veins suck. But thankfully, as a YA at a children's hospital, they are great at getting into crappy veins). Whenever I need blood drawn, I always bemoan the loss. The only viable veins that can be accessed are on my hands. When I was hospitalized for 5 days recently, I got 10 nice little poke scars on my left hand...

      As someone who works in the ER, I know people who have ports put in solely because they have bad veins and need frequent access without having cancer. However, as I said, there is always an inherent risk of infection, so it's a give-take thing.

      over 7 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      My doc said it needs to come out immediately after chemo ends because of the infection risk is very high. Get a second opinion … and soon!

      over 7 years ago
    • sue1037's Avatar
      sue1037

      Mine came out 2 weeks after I was finished with treatment. I was told that was fine

      over 7 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar
      Lindy

      That is a good question, given my high grade situation with a poor prognosis I chose to keep mine. I have only had one issue with it, think maybe I pulled it in my sleep. It is the new me.

      over 7 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar
      JennyMiller

      I had my last Chemo on April 12, 2012 and had my Port removed on May 17, 2012. I was glad to be free of it. However, everyone is different and some keep their ports in for long term.
      And -- May God Bless You also!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • FemaleinMotion's Avatar
      FemaleinMotion

      My oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America wanted me to have the port removed as soon as I passed my six-month checkup. Dr. Citrin said there was an increased risk of infection and blood clots. I had it removed 10 days ago. Best wishes to you. God bless!

      over 7 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      I don't know myself; I stil have my port and have yet to find out from my oncologist when it is to be removed. I did hear a nurse say mine was slated to stay in for a year and a half. They do say it's a semi-permanent device whose removal time is likely up to the oncologist. Sorry I can't be a better help to you. God bless you and Merry Christmas. HUGS

      over 7 years ago
    • Lgb's Avatar
      Lgb

      I had mine taken out 5 weeks after last chemo treatment, when I had my bilateral mastectomy. With my Oncologist blessing of course.

      over 7 years ago
    • baridirects' Avatar
      baridirects

      I finished chemo on September 23rd, and still have my port, which has given me no issues to date. I have it flushed every 4-6 weeks at my oncologist's office - this past time, they also drew blood from it, rather than have me go over to the hospital for a separate draw. My oncologist would just as soon see me have it removed, but I'm going to wait until after the turn of the year at least, so I have some health insurance on board to help cover the surgery. Also, there's a possibility that I'm going to have to have my gallbladder removed sometime soon, and the surgeon said that she'd like to have that port available for fluids and the like.

      I've met several fellow warriors who have had their ports in for years with no complications, so I'm not in a huge hurry to get mine removed.

      Namaste,
      Christine

      over 7 years ago
    • Kaloha's Avatar
      Kaloha

      I was told by my oncologist to leave it in for 6 - 12 mo. Have not had any problems, but after reading comments here about infection and blood clots, I am thinking 6 mo. Is enough. I don't like taking the medication for pain each time I get it flushed but don't want the pain either, so always get it.

      over 7 years ago
    • Twin's Avatar
      Twin

      My surgeon was willing to take it out right after my last chemo session, and before surgery. However I'm still doing my year of herceptin so I have to keep it for that. After that is done - I don't know how fast I'll remove it. I liked it for infusions, blood draws, etc., but it does get in the way a bit - bump it ocassionally.

      almost 7 years ago

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