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You've had a procedure to implant a port. You may hear it called an implanted venous access device (IVAD), a port-a-cath, or a central line. A 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. It's about the size of a quarter, but thicker. It looks like a small bump under your skin.
A thin, flexible tube called a catheter runs under the skin from the port into a large vein. With the port, you will be able to get medicines (such as chemotherapy) with more comfort. You also can get blood, nutrients, or other fluids. Blood can be taken through the port for tests.
You will probably have some discomfort and bruising at the port site. This will go away in a few days.
The port can be used right away. You may have the port for weeks, months, or longer.
Your port will need to be flushed out regularly to keep it open. A nurse or other health professional will do this for you.
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 feel 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Adaptation Date: 2/25/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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