Port Placement for Chemotherapy


Our physicians use state-of-the-art technology in their fight against cancer. We evaluate every cancer patient and find the most appropriate treatment plan possible, one that offers the best chances for a cure. Using the most advanced interventional radiology (IR) procedures and imaging modalities we treat tumors directly, and avoid many of the drawbacks of more systemic treatments.

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About the procedure

Port placement is a minimally invasive procedure used to give doctors easy access to your veins during intravenous chemotherapy treatment. The port has two parts, a reservoir and a catheter. The medication is placed into the port before being delivered into the vein via the catheter. The port eliminates the need to insert a new IV needle every time you receive IV therapy. Some chemotherapy drugs can only be given using a port because of their potential to damage peripheral veins. In other cases, it’s a way to prevent damage from repeatedly sticking the veins. The port placement procedure is short and fairly simple, but it does carry some degree of risk. The specialists at Comprehensive Integrated Care use a combination of ultrasound and X-ray guidance during the procedure to virtually eliminate the risks associated with traditional port placement procedures.

Why it’s done

Patients undergoing chemotherapy often require long, repeated sessions of intravenous treatment, sometimes with complications such as leaks or collapsed veins. Ports are significantly more comfortable than repeated needle sticks.

What to expect

Preparation: Your doctor will order blood work several days prior to your procedure. You shouldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight before the day of the procedure, and only take the medications your doctor has approved. If you do take any regular medications, do so with only a sip of water. If you normally take blood thinners such as aspirin or warfarin, you will need to stop taking them several days prior to the procedure. Your physician will tell you when to stop.

During: Once you check in for the port placement procedure, you will be asked to change into a patient gown. You will be given an IV with sedation. The minimally invasive procedure used by CiC allows us to give you only moderate sedation to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure without the risks associated with general anesthesia. The area where the port will be implanted is cleaned and numbed using a local anesthetic. The physician will make a small incision about one inch in length just under the collarbone. The port is placed just under the skin with the catheter attached to the port at one end and your vein at the other.

After: You may be sleepy and tired after the procedure. You will need someone with you to drive you home. You may be instructed not to shower for several days, or to wrap plastic wrap around the area before showering until the wound has time to heal. The physician will aspirate blood through the port and catheter to ensure the port is working before injecting chemotherapy medications. Another benefit of ultrasound and X-ray assisted guidance is that the placement of your port doesn’t have to be confirmed after the procedure.

Getting the best cancer care

Comprehensive Integrated Care’ experienced technologists and leading physicians will arrange and administer your port placement for chemotherapy. We will then provide follow-up care to ensure your port is working efficiently and safely throughout the duration of your therapy.

As a Comprehensive Integrated Care’s patient, you will have a highly trained physician devoted to assessing your specific case and developing the best medication delivery system for you. If that includes a port placement for chemotherapy, we will perform the minimally invasive procedure, and provide follow-up consultation and care for as long as it is needed.

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