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Implanted Venous Access Port


An implanted venous access port is a device used to give treatments and 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 port is attached to a catheter that enters a large vein. Your healthcare provider may show you or a family member how to give medicines or liquids through your port. A healthcare provider may also visit you at home to give you medicines or treatments.


Before your procedure:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the procedure. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into your skin where the port will be placed. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure. You may also be given medicine to help you relax and stay calm.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

During your procedure:

  • Local anesthesia will be given as a shot to numb the area where your port will be placed.
  • Your healthcare provider will insert a needle through your skin and guide a catheter into the vein. He or she will make an incision in your skin and create a pocket under your skin. The port will be implanted in the pocket. The catheter and port will be connected.
  • The incision will be closed with stitches or tissue glue. It may be covered with a bandage until it heals.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. Pain medicine may be given to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.


  • You may 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. 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 infected. The infection may spread to your blood.
  • The tip of your catheter may become blocked, or it may break, kink, or move from its position. Medicine may leak from your port and cause swelling or pain. You may get a blood clot in your arm. 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.


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

Learn more about Implanted Venous Access Port (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

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