A hepatic artery infusion pump is a way to put chemotherapy medicine directly into the liver. The pump is used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver. The pump is a small metal container that holds medicine. A thin, plastic tube called a catheter carries medicine from the pump into a blood vessel that goes to your liver. The blood vessel is called the hepatic artery. The doctor made a cut (incision) in the right side of your belly to put the pump under your skin.
The incision may be sore at first. Your belly may be sore and swollen where the pump and the catheter were placed. This usually gets better in 1 to 4 weeks. You will probably need to take at least 2 to 6 weeks off work.
You will probably be able to see or feel the shape of the pump under your skin. With time, you may not feel the pump as much. It may be more comfortable to wear loose clothing over the pump while you are getting used to it.
Your doctor probably will fill your pump with chemotherapy medicine at your first follow-up visit. The pump probably will need to be refilled every 2 to 4 weeks. Your doctor will give you information about your pump and how often you will need to have it refilled.
The pump will release medicine at a set rate. An increase in your body temperature can make the pump release medicine at a faster rate. This can cause your liver to get too much medicine at once. So it is important to avoid strenuous activity, hot tubs, and other things that may raise your body temperature.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: March 27, 2018
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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