Chemotherapy Port Insertion (Portacath)

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  7. Chemotherapy Port Insertion (Portacath)

How is Portacath Surgery Performed?

  • You will be given a local or general anaesthetic for the procedure. You might also receive intravenous sedation.
  • The surgeon will perform the procedure using x-ray or ultrasound guidance.
  • The surgeon will use a 30 mm incision to create a “pocket” under the skin on your chest for the port to go in.
  • A 5 mm incision on your neck will allow the catheter to be inserted into your vein.
  • Absorbable sutures close the chest wound while the neck wound usually gets closed with Steristrips.

What to Expect After a Portacath Procedure?

You should be able to go home two hours after the procedure but you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours.

You will need to keep the wound clean and dry for five days and avoid strenuous activities during this time.

Possible Complications

The risks associated with Portacath procedures are rare but include:

  • Pneumothorax – small puncture lung – usually settled down spontanesously.
  • Wound infection.
  • The formation of a haematoma (a swelling caused by clotted blood).
  • Injury to blood vessels.
  • An allergic reaction to dyes or drugs used.