Mediports/Port-a-cath

A Mediport, otherwise known as a Port-a-cath, is an intravenous catheter in the chest or arm that might be recommended for you by your doctor, especially if you will be receiving chemotherapy long-term, multiple consecutive days of infusions, or have difficult to access veins.  Mediports can be removed once chemotherapy is finished, or can be left in (as long as they are regularly flushed so they do not clog).

Advantages:

  • No messing around with constant iv catheter sticks.
  • Blood for laboratory work can also be obtained from a Mediport.

Disadvantages:

  • DVTs (Blood clots) in the neck or arm in the same side of the Mediport. The longer a port is left in, the more of a chance this can occur. DVTs happen in 5-10% of ports.
  • Infections. Usually these are superficial skin infections relatively easily treated with antibiotics. Infections happen in 5-10% of ports.
  • Pneumothorax (partial lung collapse) during the procedure (rare, i.e. in <1% of cases)

For a nice verbal description on Mediports, please see http://www.sir.net.au/portacath_pi.html

For a video describing Mediport insertion, please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWFOE7Y36Xo&feature=related

 






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