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The Role of a Port-a-Cath in Your Health

A port-a-cath, sometimes referred to as a port, is a chamber inserted surgically under your skin. It’s linked to one of the larger veins connected to your heart. The chamber enables easy access to your vein without forcing you to prick a vein in several locations each time you need medications delivered or blood drawn. A port-a-cath isn’t visible outside the body, and unless you’re quite thin, the chamber underneath your skin isn’t visible at all. 

From our specialists at i-Vascular Center, here’s why a port-a-cath is used to deliver medications, draw blood, and deliver IV nutrition. 

Lowers the risk for infection and chemotherapy complications 

A port-a-cath is often used to deliver chemotherapy drugs to cancer patients. Cancer patients are more likely to experience complications from infections and not be able to fight them off due to the aggressive nature of chemotherapy.

Estimates suggest that about 60% of cancer deaths are caused by infections. However, a port-a-cath makes it easier for medical specialists to sterilize the area and prevent infections.

The delivery of chemotherapy drugs is also eased. Medical professionals can inject medications straight into the vein, reducing the chances of medications leaking into surrounding tissues where they can cause tissue damage and irritation. 

Allows you to get several types of fluids at the same time 

Depending on your needs, you may be recommended either a single port or a double port. A single port can deliver only one type of fluid at once. 

However, some patients may need both intravenous medications and intravenous nutrition, for example. A double port can deliver two types of fluid at the same time.

Intravenous nutrition is recommended to patients who’ve undergone chemotherapy and can no longer digest foods as a result of the treatment. It’s also recommended for patients who suffer from Crohn's disease, short bowel syndrome, and ischemic bowel disease. 

Find out more about how a port-a-cath can improve your life quality

Once inserted, a port-a-cath can last anywhere between two and 6 years and sustain about 2,000 punctures. If it’s no longer needed, medical staff can easily remove the port under local anesthesia. 

It allows you to bathe and even swim with the device underneath your skin, all while providing easy access to your veins for intravenous fluids. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in San Antonio, Texas, and El Paso, Texas to find out if a port-a-cath could be a good fit for you or your loved ones.

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