An implanted port is a device placed, in most cases, under the skin of your chest below your collarbone. It is made of plastic, stainless steel, or titanium. The port is usually about the size of a quarter, but thicker. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter runs under the skin from the port into a large vein. A silicone bubble (septum) is in the centre of the port.
An implanted port is a type of central venous catheter, or central venous line.
The port is used to give you medicine, blood products, nutrients, or fluids over a long period of time. You may have it for weeks, months, or longer. The port also can be used to draw blood for tests. The port makes doing these things more comfortable for you.
A needle is used to put fluid into the port. You will only feel a mild prick. Some implanted ports contain a small reservoir that can be filled with the medicine or fluid. The reservoir slowly releases the medicine into the bloodstream. A special needle (called a Huber needle) may stay in the port for a short time.
Your doctor will give you medicine to make you sleep or feel relaxed. Your doctor will then thread the catheter up a vein in your neck or chest to a larger vein and put the port in. The port will remain just under your skin. It looks like a small bump under the skin.
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.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: September 23, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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