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What is a chest port?

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Quick Answer

A chest port provides access to a central venous catheter, which is a tube that doctors place into the chest of a patient who needs ongoing medical treatment, such as dialysis, chemotherapy, long-term antibiotics or nutritional therapy, explains MedlinePlus. Using a chest port helps reduce stress on the veins.

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Full Answer

The patient's skin covers the chest port, and when an injection or blood draw is necessary, medical staff uses the port, accessing it with a special needle, states MedlinePlus. A chest port does not hurt once the patient has healed from the initial insertion. The doctor must flush out the port about once a month to prevent blood clots. After completion of treatment, the doctor removes the chest port.

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