PORT - INSTRUCTIONS AFTER INSERTION BY DR BRISTOW
Your port has been inserted to facilitate the intravenous administration of chemotherapy drugs. Most ports will also allow blood samples to be taken. The port will prevent damage to the skin, veins and tissues of your arms, speed up the start of each course of chemotherapy and provide reliable vascular access.
The port needs very little maintenance
You should rest quietly on the day of insertion. There may be some discomfort. Paracetamol or non steroidal painkillers such as ibuprofen will be adequate. The pain is not severe and should settle in a day or so.
LOOKING AFTER THE WOUNDS
You will have a dressing over the port and a second dressing on the shoulder where the line or catheter enters the vein.
Please keep the dressings clean and dry. You can have a bath or shower but do not soak the dressings as this can cause infection.
7 to 10 days after insertion the dressings will be removed and the ends of the stitches cut flush with the skin. The stitches inside the skin dissolve and should not be removed. You will be given an appointment for this before you leave hospital. By being flexible about the timing, many patients can have the dressing taken down at the same time as treatment and avoid an additional visit to us.
Please contact us if any of the following occur:
Increasing or persistant pain
If the wound becomes red, sore or wet
If you develop a temperature or feel unwell
All these are very uncommon!
Once the dressing have been removed and the wound inspected by the nurses, you can bathe, shower and get the skin as wet as you like
The port needs flushing at regular intervals to prevent blood getting into the line and clotting off. Most people recommend every four weeks and this means you will not need a flush between treatments. If your port becomes difficult to use, flushing needs to be more frequent. I like to see ALL patients if there are problems.
END OF USE
The port should not bother you so we like to keep it until we are sure it will not be needed again. Your oncologist or nurse will then contact me and I will arrange to remove it as a daycase under sedation.
If your port is not needed, it does not need to be flushed whilst waiting to be removed. It may clot off but this does not matter.