We know chemo ports can be extremely hard to handle and cause a lot of irritation. This irritation can further aggravate the body and the illness. In such a time when a person is already annoyed and in pain, the smallest pains can be the cause of a lot of physical and emotional trauma.
Since it is a sensitive issue, the entire process of dealing with it must be done with care. With such issues, one must be aware of how to sleep with a chemo port and further information regarding chemo ports such as how long is a port left in after chemo and the chemo port
Table of Contents
What Is A Chemo Port?
A chemo port is an implanted port that is inserted in the body. This port is known as a medi-port and is stuck in the body to make the process of injecting things easier. This port is usually of plastic or metal. It has a section in the middle of it which is made up of rubber. The rubber part of the port is responsible for making sure that the needle in it is held in place. The port is injected in your skin and it stays right under your skin and is set to make sure that any further insertions do not get complicated and create any more pain for the patient.
Why Do I Need A Chemo Port
A chemo port is important a lot of the time because, without it, the process of injecting material or drawing blood can get extremely tiresome for both the doctors and the patients. Chemo patients have to either get their blood drawn or extracted for a ton of reasons. They also are regularly getting medicines injected into their body through a drip.
- Putting needles again and again in various parts of the body can get hard. Patients would also have to constantly keep getting pricked. To avoid this, a chemo port is injected once in some area right underneath the collarbone or near the chest. These are in place, the needle is injected in the port instead of getting your hands pricks repeatedly.
- You will also have to get a chemo port implanted if you are to go through an IV treatment for a longer period. For instance, all those patients who have to go through IV therapy will be getting the port implanted for 6 months. This is done to avoid constantly going through the same process.
- Lastly, another medical reason why your doctor might suggest you get implantation for the port done is that you have very small veins. Since the needle is injected in the vein, it is crucial to spot them first. There are some people whose veins are either small or difficult to spot. In such cases, ports are suggested to avoid the constant hassle of looking for a vein.
How To Sleep With A Chemo Port
Sleeping with the port is not something to be worried about. It will be very similar to what you might experience when you get your ears pierced. Patients who have the port implantation should try not to sleep on their stomachs. Since the port is placed under the chest, sleeping on your stomach would exert body weight on it and cause discomfort.
Also, sleeping apparel can help a lot. Wearing light and breezy clothes won’t restrict your breathing or put any sort of force on the bruise. Avoid wearing shirts with straps that might press into the implantation.
Are You Put To Sleep For A Port Placement?
The next question that keeps arising in the minds of patients and those who look after them is “Do they put you to sleep for a chemo port?” A question often asked, people are constantly worried about the process in which the port is entered into the body and the various aspects of it.
The procedure for the injection of the port is as follows:
The process for the placement of a chemo port is not a big deal and can be done in a little while. Since the patient might already be getting a lot of treatments done, this will come off as light and breezy for them. A chemo port is set in the upper region of the body. The placement of the body is done during an outpatient procedure.
In layman terms, an outpatient procedure is when the patient is not required to stay overnight in the hospital. The entire process can be done within an hour and does not require the patient to stay for nights. The idea behind an outpatient procedure is that patients can leave within a few hours of entering the hospital to get it done.
They will not put you to sleep for a port placement but don’t worry, you will be given an anesthesia to numb the pain while the process is being carried out. TThis anesthesia is a sort of medication that is used to relax the patient so that they don’t feel anything while the implantation is being done. There are various three to four types of anesthesia as available but for the port implantation, the patient will be given local anesthesia. This is because it is the lightest one as the procedure is not that intense or serious.
It should take around 35-40 minutes for the entire procedure of port implantation to be completed. The short period required is why this will be an outpatient procedure.
Chemo Port Surgery Recovery
Since this is a delicate matter, the chemo port surgery recovery process should be done by extra care. As soon as the port is implanted, you will not feel anything immediately since you will undergo the medications given to numb out the pin. But, when the education wears off, you will start feeling a little discomfort in the spot where it is implanted.
On a physical level, there is bound to be some sort of soreness on the spot. This will also be visible. You might find that there is some bruising or swelling close to where the port is implanted. There is not going to be any excessive bleeding so that’s not something you have to worry about.
Once the port is placed below your chest, you will be taken through an X-ray test to make sure that it is placed in the correct position. Once all of that is done, the nurse will patch you up. They will most probably use a suture, or a sterile tape to cover up the incision marks on your chest. Next, it will be covered with another dressing so that it can heal without any outside barrier. In the case that there is a little bleeding, they might use gauze to clean up and patch up the spot.
A few steps should be taken after the implantation of the port to ensure a quick and smooth recovery.
- Start by making sure that you have someone with you who can accompany you on your way home. Driving or walking right after getting the port implanted is not right. The medicine is given to relax you might have made you a little drowsy so there may some effects of that as well.
- Take a look at the dressing and make sure that there is no bleeding visible to you or flowing out of the cover. If there is, then you should ask your nurse to take care of it. For those who discover bleeding after getting home, they can use a tissue or a gauze to press lightly and dab where the blood is. Use a disinfectant to lightly clear it up near the edges.
- Once you reach home, make sure that you do not partake in any tasks that require upper body strength. Since it will be sore in the initial period, you should rest a little. Eating and drinking can be continued according to your routine.
- Do not wear clothes, undergarments, or any accessories that will put on weight or pressure on the spot where it is implanted. Wear clothes with open collars and those which are airy at the top.
- You will be allowed to take off the dressing after 2-3 days of the procedure. Keep tissue, gauze, and sterile cleaner with you while you do this. If you spot any further blood oozing out, then you can clean it up and cover it again for a day.
- You should wait around 2 weeks for the stitches and the implantation to heal. Once it is completed healed, you can take a shower. While taking a shower, ensure that you don’t scrub in that region too hard.
How Long Is A Port Left In After Chemo
The port will be left inside for as long as the treatment is being carried out. Once it is done, your doctor will agree on taking it out.
Chemo Port Complications
A lot of complications can arise during the process which can be avoided if quick action is taken. A little care of the implantation can go a long way. The following are the common complications that patients have experienced and that one should look out for.
There is going to be a little discomfort even during the process while you’re under anesthesia and after the process too. You might have some difficulty in lifting heavy objects and should refrain from it. Other than the affected area it will hurt a little but only for the first few days.
First and foremost, like all other bruises, infections should be feared the most. It is a very basic element that is not very serious but requires immediate attention. It is necessary to ward off any bacteria that might get access to the wound or in the catheter tubes. The easiest way to get rid of any infections or avoid having any infections in the first place is by keeping the area clean. Also, infections can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
While patients undergo chemotherapy, any sort of movement with the port can cause blisters. These blisters are on the top of the skin and can be irritating.
4. Blood Vessels
There is this risk of occlusion. In this, the blood vessels are concerned. There is a risk of blockage in the vessels that are located around the portal. There is also the additional threat of blood clots which can cause a blockage as well.
5. Leakage of Air
While the process of implantation is being carried out, there might be a risk of leakage of air. Some air can leak out from the area of the lungs. It is nothing to be worried about and doctors can help you resolve it in little time.
6. Positioning Issues
Another issue that can arise is the positioning of the port. Sometimes the port can get dislocated and moved from the spot. This will just further create problems when it comes to injecting the medicine. A professional person would be able to help you figure out whether it has moved or is it functioning fine.
The port might seem like a problem in the beginning but it’s just going to save you from a lot of trouble down the road. There are some complications but these complications can be dodged if there was adequate medical attention given. Checkups can also help to keep an eye on it.