Port & Chemo same day?

I'm scheduled for a port insert and then first chemo treatment on the SAME DAY this coming Friday.

Has anyone else had this done (all on the same day thing)?

Is there anything I need to know or watch out for?

I am kinda freaked by the idea - isnt the port inserted with stitches? So are they going to hook me right up ? :eek2:

Advice welcome...

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  • I don't think I started chemo the same day, but I know it was very quickly after having the port put in. I don't remember having stitches with mine, I think it was just steri-strips. The scar I have (which includes them removing it again) is only about 1 inch long, so it's not a huge incision. Also, if I remember correctly, the port was actually sitting pretty well below the actual incision point.

    This was 8 years ago, and I know there have been subtle changes to ports since then, so if anyone knows otherwise, please feel free to correct me.
  • I had my port inserted in the morning and I was receiving chemo that afternoon. It's no big deal since it goes right into your blood stream. The stitches (on mine, anyway) are just what holds the port in place. The quicker I got the chemo, the quicker I got out of the hospital. Just make sure you do not scratch or mess with it, the nurses should come in and take care of it the first few days. I don't have a bad scar from it, just a place where the hole was and a few scars from the placeholder stitches. "Battle scars" :) The port is great since you don't have to be stuck every time they want some blood or need to inject something.
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Skat22nbnc;1129 said:
    I'm scheduled for a port insert and then first chemo treatment on the SAME DAY this coming Friday.

    Has anyone else had this done (all on the same day thing)?

    Is there anything I need to know or watch out for?

    I am kinda freaked by the idea - isnt the port inserted with stitches? So are they going to hook me right up ? :eek2:

    Advice welcome...

    A lot of people have the port implanted and chemo start on the same day. That was supposed to happen for me but my chemo got delayed a week because my insurance at first was not pre-approving my chemo. Go figure the stupid insurance companies...they would approve the port surgery but weren't going to approve the chemo..eventually it was approved. Anyway they usually will implant the port, and also insert needle right into the port if you are getting chemo the same day. With my port, there were no stitches, the doctor used some type of special glue/adhesive to hold together the small incision, no problems, no bleeding, it didn't come apart. My aunt who started chemo for MDS a few months before I started chemo had a port implanted and started chemo the same say and she didn't have any problems. She said the area just felt a little tender the first day.

    If you want you can take a look at pics of my port incision http://forums.stupidcancer.com/album.php?albumid=5&attachmentid=22 and to see what the needle looks like while it is in for chemo http://forums.stupidcancer.com/album.php?albumid=5&attachmentid=13.

    The only thing I found to be problematic was it wasn't comfortable to sleep on my right side (that is where my port is) for a few weeks after getting the port put in. If you can, ask if you can get a PowerPort, especially if you will be going for CT scans later on. The PowerPorts are able to better handle the IV contrast in CT scans whereas the older types of ports don't do as well. The only thing you will have to be mindful of, but I am told it is rare and I never had a problem nor have I known anyone else with a port have this problem, is if the area where your port is located becomes very red or feels hot, then you need to tell your medical team as it might be a sign of an infection.

    The oncology nurses will probably flush your port with saline and heparin (this help prevent the port from becoming clogged up) after each chemo round. Once you are finished chemo, you will have to go to the docs office every few weeks (mine is every 6-8 weeks) to get your port flushed until you and/or your doctor decide when you can have it removed.

    I've had my port in since October 2009 and I am planning to have it removed probably in a few months after my next CT scan if all things continue to be clear. One really nice benefit of the port is, the nurses can draw blood from the port for tests instead of trying to draw blood from the veins in your arms. Well I found it a benefit because I have small veins.

    I wish you all the best with your treatment.
  • Okay this has helped A LOT. There are things i wasnt aware of that you all have filled me in on. THANKS!

    @ Dawn - how shitty is this = my port will be on my LEFT side, and my painful breast cancer is on the RIGHT...guess I will be sleepping on my BACK for awhile! >:^p
  • @Dawn, excellent point about the CT scans! Despite having my port accessed, I always had to get an IV when I went down for scans. Also, your picture is about what my scar looks like, though a bit faded after a few years.

    My port was on the left side. Not really sure how they came to that conclusion in my case. When I later had my hickman line, that was on the right side.
  • I had my port put in the same day they started the Chemo, I didn't have any problems with the port itself but the tape they put over it really irritated my skin. If you have sensitive skin I would ask the nurses to be really gentle and slow when they change the dressing, some of my nurses seemed to think it was okay to rip the dressing off fast and that just exacerbated the problem. I didn't realize until I had a really good nurse that took some time to peel off the dressing what a big difference that makes. Also, sometimes the nurses would position the line out sideways or slightly up and that seemed to irritate me too, I would recomend asking them to position the line strait down when they change the dressing, but that might be more a personal preference thing. Good luck with the Chemo and Port, I'm sure you'll do great.
  • Yes get a power port! I don't know why that isn't standard. I had my port put in and chemo on the same day no problem.

    Is there a reason why you can't get your port in your arm? Taking into consideration your painful breast cancer and the initial discomfort of a port insertion. My first port was put in my arm until I got an infection and a blood clot, then it was removed. But like Dawn said it's rare and I don't know of anyone else who had a problem with their port like I did. I did a one or two rounds of chemo with an IV then got another port put into my right chest.

    Good luck with it all.
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    If you want to see what a Powerport looks like click here [video]http://www.bardaccess.com/port-powerport.php?section=Features[/video]. It is purple and sort of has a heart shape. I used to joke that I earned a purple heart for my "cancer battle". :p What can I say, I have a very warped sense of humor! :D

    Also regardless of what kind of port you get, the medical staff should give you a card to carry around with you so you can show it to any new doctors or if you need to go through airport security.

    Also make sure if you go to any other doctors office where they may have to access your port, make sure they use the correct needle. Only a special needle, I think it is called a non coring Huber needle, should be used (the link above also shows the needle used in the port)...never a straight needle or regular IV needle. You would think all medical professionals would know about ports but unless they work in oncology, a lot don't. My one friend is an oncology nurse and he warned me about this before I started chemo. I never had a problem but my aunt who had to go to a rehab center for several weeks because of shattered arm, got her port stuck several times with a straight needle which caused her pain and messed up her port.
  • Dawn, you pretty much ROCK girlfriend!
    I will take this with me - tomorrow I am driving to Philly PA to see THE specialist in IBC (infammatory breast cancer) and i may get a port there. if so, i like the features on the purple heart - will ask for that since i know i will have future CT scnas and tests.
    THANX!!!
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Skat22nbnc;1140 said:
    Okay this has helped A LOT. There are things i wasnt aware of that you all have filled me in on. THANKS!

    @ Dawn - how shitty is this = my port will be on my LEFT side, and my painful breast cancer is on the RIGHT...guess I will be sleepping on my BACK for awhile! >:^p

    Yeah, finding a comfortable sleeping position after surgery and also a port can be interesting. My incision from my small bowel resection is on the left side just below my ribs and the port was on my right side of the chest so it took awhile before I could fully sleep on either side. For years I have used two body pillows (one on each side) because I also have arthritis (I'm too young for that one too!) and would get bad pains in my knees and hips...the pillows help position me where I didn't put too much pressure on the joints when sleeping on my sides....anyway, I found those pillows helpful after my surgeries too. I would slightly lean to one side and use one of the body pillows to sort of prop the other side so I didn't always have to sleep flat on my back. It's just a thought. I got my pillows for about $20 each at Bed, Bath and Beyond. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=13690456
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Skat22nbnc;1243 said:
    Dawn, you pretty much ROCK girlfriend!
    I will take this with me - tomorrow I am driving to Philly PA to see THE specialist in IBC (infammatory breast cancer) and i may get a port there. if so, i like the features on the purple heart - will ask for that since i know i will have future CT scnas and tests.
    THANX!!!
    :D

    Good luck with your appointment with the specialist tomorrow!
  • egeorgeegeorge Community Member
    Is it bad.to have port inserted on the same side as heart