A small vascular access device (about the size of a quarter in diameter) with a hollow space inside that is sealed by a soft top. It is used to carry medications into the bloodstream and is placed in patients who need intermittent or long-term IV therapy. The port is connected to a small flexible tube called a catheter. A special needle is put in the soft top of the port so that medications and fluids can be given and blood samples be withdrawn without having to stick your arm veins directly with a needle.
A port can help decrease the discomfort of multiple sticks required from frequent injections or infusions of medications and other fluids directly into the bloodstream. Frequent needle sticks and certain medications can damage the veins in your arm or hand, making access more difficult over time.
- Lifestyle – ports permit you to go about your normal day-to-day activities, like showering, swimming, jogging and playing with your children.
- Comfort – a port can remain as long as your doctor determines you need it.
- Increased Privacy and Appearance – ports are small and can be hidden from view. There is no exposed device and because ports are typically placed in the chest, there’s no potential for bruised arms.
- Long-Term Health – since ports are typically placed in the chest, port usage can reduce the likelihood of damage to the veins in your arm and hand.
Port placement is a minimally-invasive procedure performed in the outpatient setting by a trained provider. The area where the port will be inserted will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic.
The port is inserted just under the skin of the upper chest. Attached to each port is a small tube and this tube runs from the port to a vein near the heart. The small incisions made are closed with either sutures (stitches) or a surgical glue.
Will I be awake during the procedure?
Patients often choose to get local anesthesia. In this case, a patient would be awake and comfortable during the procedure. We do offer medications, as needed, to make each patient comfortable. Our goal is to make sure everyone has as pleasant an experience as possible.
How will I feel after the port procedure?
It is common for the incision site to feel sore and can take a week or two to completely heal. Patients find relief from over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
Will my insurance cover port placement and/or removal?
Yes. Our staff works to make sure that all referrals and pre-authorizations are in place for your consult and procedure prior to your first visit.