Implanted Venous Access Port
What you should know
Implanted Venous Access Port (Precare) Care Guide
- Implanted Venous Access Port
- Implanted Venous Access Port Aftercare Instructions
- Implanted Venous Access Port Discharge Care
- Implanted Venous Access Port Inpatient Care
- Implanted Venous Access Port Precare
- Implanted Venous Access Ports
- Implanted Venous Access Ports Aftercare Instructions
- Implanted Venous Access Ports Discharge Care
- Implanted Venous Access Ports Inpatient Care
- Implanted Venous Access Ports Precare
- En Espanol
An implanted venous access port is a device used to give treatments and to take blood. It may also be called a central venous access device (CVAD). The port is a small container that is placed under your skin, usually in your upper chest. A port can also be placed in your arm or abdomen. The container is attached to a catheter (tube) that enters a large vein.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- During placement, the catheter may enter the wrong area, causing abnormal heartbeats. Blood vessels may be damaged, causing you to bleed more than expected. Blood may collect around your heart, making it hard for your heart to beat. Your lung may collapse, and air or blood may leak into the space around your lungs. Air may enter your chest and cause heart or lung problems. Blood may collect in the area your port was placed and you may bruise around the port site. You may have pain or discomfort, and get a scar where the port was placed. The area around your port may get infection, or you may get an infection in your bloodstream.
- The tip of your catheter may become blocked, break, kink, or move from its position. Medicine may leak from your port and cause swelling, or pain. You can have bleeding, an allergy to heparin, or heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT is a low number of platelets, increasing your risk for bleeding. You may get a blood clot in your arm that causes pain and swelling, and can stop blood flow. The blood clot may break loose and travel to your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. This problem can be life-threatening.
- If you do not have a port placed, you may not get the treatment you need. You may get many needle sticks to get the treatments you need. Contact your caregiver if you have questions or concerns about your procedure or care.
Before your procedure:
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Tell your caregiver if you have blood clotting problems. Tell your caregiver if you have had surgery or radiation therapy on your chest or neck.
- You may need blood taken for tests. If blood tests show your blood takes a long time to clot, the procedure may not be safe for you. You may need a transfusion of platelets or plasma before the procedure. Platelets and plasma are parts of your blood that help your blood clot better. You may need a vascular ultrasound to look at your blood vessels. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
The night before your procedure:
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You may be given medicine to help you relax and stay calm.
What will happen:
- You will lie on your back, with your head slightly lower than your feet. A cushion may be placed under you, between your shoulder blades. You will be attached to a monitor so your caregiver can watch your heartbeat during the procedure. An ultrasound or x-ray may be used to help guide the placement of the catheter and port. Local anesthesia will be given as a shot to numb the area where your port will be placed.
- Your caregiver will insert a needle through your skin until it reaches your vein. A guidewire and sheath (cover) will be put through the needle and into your vein, and the needle is removed. A catheter will be put in over the guidewire, through the sheath, and into your vein. You may be asked to hum while the catheter is placed to prevent air from entering the catheter. The guidewire and sheath will be removed. A skin incision (cut), and a pocket under your skin, will be made where the port will be implanted. A space will be made under your skin to connect the catheter and port together. The port will be secured with stitches to nearby tissue. The cut will be closed with stitches or tissue glue, and may be covered with a bandage until it heals.
After your procedure:
A chest x-ray will be done to check the placement of the catheter and port. You may have a non-coring needle in your port right after it is placed to start your treatments. You will need to rest for awhile after your procedure. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure on time.
- You have a fever.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.