A chestport is a device that is implanted under your skin so that medications may be delivered directly into your blood system. The device has two parts – a catheter tube that stays in the vein and the port reservoir that is placed in a pocket made under skin. Once healed, it is totally below the skin, which makes it very comfortable. The chestport is designed for safe, long-term use in your body. It can stay in place permanently if necessary. When not in use, the only care a port requires is flushing once a month with a solution of heparin and saline to prevent blood clots from forming inside the line and causing a blockage. The round part of the device that can be felt under the skin is called the reservoir.
When the port is “accessed,” a special needle is placed through the skin into the reservoir through a plastic membrane called a septum. The raised “septum” is made from a selfsealing rubber, which allows repeated injections into the port so that you do not need to get injected directly into the skin or have an IV (intravenous) line inserted each time you require medication. You may also hear the terms Mediport, Port-A-Cath®, Infus-A-Port®, or other similar terms. These are other products that serve similar functions.
The port can be used to deliver medication or draw a blood sample by inserting a special needle into the port. The needle connects to the catheter inside the port; the other end of the catheter is located inside a fairly large blood vessel.
You will most likely have some redness/soreness around the incision for one to two days after your chestport is implanted. Should it last beyond this time, please call your doctor or nurse.
Only your physician can let you know how long your therapy will last. When you no longer need the therapy, the chestport can be removed.
Your supply needs will be coordinated by a home care agency and you will receive instructions on their use. Store all your supplies in a clean, dry area, at waist height or above.
Your chestport is an important part of your care and we encourage you to call us if you have questions or concerns. Your physician can be reached by calling your clinic. After hours, on holidays or on weekends, call (716) 845-2300 and ask to speak to the physician on call for your clinic.
If you require medical attention outside of business hours, please go to the Buffalo General Hospital Emergency Room. The doctors and nurses at Buffalo General have access to your medical records and will work with Roswell Park to coordinate your care. If you live outside of the Buffalo area, please go directly to your nearest hospital emergency room.