What Is the Procedure for Inserting a Port for Chemotherapy?


Quick Answer

An implantable port can be placed during a simple surgical procedure, states the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Most commonly, patients receive a local anesthetic, the port is placed underneath the skin, and a catheter attached to the port is threaded into a large vein near the heart.

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Full Answer

A port is an implantable device that allows doctors and nurses to draw blood samples, and give intravenous medicines, fluids and food to patients, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Most commonly, patients with cancer have ports placed in order to get chemotherapy drugs on a regular basis. Ports typically are placed in a patient's upper chest, right below their collarbone. However, ports can also be placed in the arm, abdomen or in the leg.

Ports are small, disk-shaped medical devices that connect to a catheter. The catheter is laced through a large vein in the body so that medicines and fluids can easily be given through the port and reach the entire circulatory system. The center of a port is known as the septum. This portion of the port can have a needle inserted into it for medication delivery or blood draws, as explained by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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