If you regularly visit the doctor for blood transfusions, intravenous fluids, or chemotherapy, port-a-cath placement can save you time and energy. At i-Vascular Center, with two convenient locations in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas, vein and vascular surgeon Anwar S. Gerges, MD, and the team provide port-a-cath placement onsite as an outpatient procedure. To schedule an appointment, book a consultation today, or call the nearest office to speak with a member of the administrative staff.
A port-a-cath is an implantable medical device shaped like a thin disc. It’s made of plastic and is about the size of a quarter. Dr. Gerges implants your port-a-cath above your breast or below your collarbone, just under your skin. It feeds medication intravenously through a large vein, directly into your heart.
Port-a-cath placement is a quick, outpatient procedure. If you need dialysis or are receiving cancer treatment, frequent blood transfusions and intravenous medications are necessary. A port-a-cath prevents the need for dozens of needle pricks, ensuring a more comfortable care experience.
Following the completion of treatment, Dr. Gerges removes your port-a-cath. Removal is quick and pain-free, just like installation.
Port-a-cath placement typically takes two or three hours.
Prior to implantation, Dr. Gerges administers a local anesthetic that numbs your chest. Once the anesthesia sets in, he makes a small incision above your breast or below your collarbone and carefully inserts the port beneath your skin. Then he connects a thin tube (catheter) from the port to a vein that feeds your heart.
Once the port and catheter are in place, he carefully stitches up the incision. Afterward, you wait in a recovery room while the anesthesia wears off.
Port-a-cath placement is safe and usually well-tolerated. In the first few days following your procedure, it’s normal to experience some mild pain and bruising. To avoid irritation, don’t wear tight clothing or purses or backpacks that strap across your chest.
Most people feel back to normal within a few days, but if you experience signs of infection like chest pain, fever, or fluid around the incision, contact Dr. Gerges right away.
For your port-a-cath to properly function, you need to clean it regularly. Following each blood transfusion or draw, Dr. Gerges flushes out the port lines to lower your risk of infection. Regularly cleaning the port-a-cath also prevents blood clotting and other potential complications.
If you’re interested in learning more about port-a-cath placement, schedule an appointment at i-Vascular Center. Book a consultation online, or call the nearest office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.