Central Venous Catheter Port

What is a Port?

  • A port is a device which is used to deliver medications into the bloodstream. The word implanted refers to the fact that the device is placed completely beneath the skin. The port will be visible merely as a small “raised area” beneath your skin. Daily care is generally not required and a port does not affect your normal activities.
  • The port is made from special medical grade materials designed for safe long-term use in the body.
  • A port is a small disk about one and a half inches in diameter. The port has a raised center or septum which is made from a self-sealing rubber material. The septum is where the needle is inserted for delivery of medication, which is carried from the port into the bloodstream through a small flexible tube called a catheter.
  • Implanted ports are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. A port that is most appropriate for your body size and therapy, will be chosen.

How is the Port Placed?

  • The port is placed during a brief surgical operation that is usually performed under local anesthesia.

Where is the Port Placed?

  • Your doctor will place the port just beneath your skin, and insert the end of the catheter into the blood vessel that has been selected to receive the medication. Your doctor will locate the port in a position most suitable for your treatment. Frequently, the port is placed on the upper chest in an area just below the collarbone.

How does the Port Work?

  • Once the port is placed beneath the skin, it is ready to be used for easy delivery of medication into the bloodstream. The venous port also provides an easy method for collecting blood samples. When a medical treatment or blood sample is needed, a special needle is placed through the septum of the port which connects to the catheter. For most patients, only a mild pricking sensation is felt during the needle insertion. Frequently, the sensation of the needle insertion decreases over time.

Care of Your Port

  • During the first few days after receiving the port, it will be important to avoid any heavy exertion and to follow any special instructions the doctor gives for care of the small incision. Once the incision is healed, normal activity can resume.