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 about the size of a quarter, but thicker. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter runs from the port into a large vein. A membrane (septum) similar to a pencil eraser is in the centre of the port.
A nurse uses a needle to put chemotherapy or other medicine and fluids through the septum into a blood vessel. A health professional also can take blood for tests through the port. An implanted port can be used for months. A special needle (called a Huber needle) may stay in the port for a short time. The port and catheter need regular care to make sure they do not get blocked.
Tell your doctor if you take aspirin or some other blood thinner. These medicines can increase the chance of bleeding inside your body.
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 your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 20, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
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