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Implanted Venous Access Port

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.


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.


The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need blood tests before your procedure. You may also need a transfusion of platelets or plasma to help your blood clot. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

Ask healthcare providers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. Your provider will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. Your provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers 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.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. You may be given liquids or medicine through the IV.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You may be given medicine to help you relax and stay calm.


What will happen:

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. Then 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.


  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.


  • 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.

Care Agreement

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.

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