What is an infusion port?
A port is a small medical device that is installed beneath the skin usually in the upper chest. Sometimes the port is placed in the underside of the upper arm. You can feel its raised center under your skin. A flexible piece of tubing (catheter) is connected to it. This is tunneled under the skin to an area near the neck where it enters a vein. The center of the port is made of a tough, self-sealing, rubber-like material that can be punctured through the chest skin with a special needle many times. After each puncture, it will reseal instantly.
The port, which is implanted under the skin, is not very noticeable. Once healed, it requires little care from you. You can go about with your normal daily routine, which can include swimming and showering, without worrying about the port.
Why would you need an infusion port?
If you need frequent intravenous (IV) medicines or blood draws — or both — your healthcare provider may order a port for you. A port is a small medical device that allows providers easy, reliable access to administer medicine to a patient directly into the veins. It makes taking blood samples easier and is generally more comfortable for the patient than multiple needle sticks.
How and when is the port removed?
Unlike an IV catheter, which must be reinserted for each treatment session, a port can remain in place as long as necessary – for several weeks, months or even years. When it is no longer needed, the port can be removed through a relatively simple outpatient procedure.
Our ability to use imaging guidance and cutting-edge technology minimizes patient risk. Prior to your procedure, your physician will discuss any potential risks with you.
Conditions to let us know about
Let your doctor know if you currently are pregnant or breast feeding, feeling ill, have a fever, or are taking any blood thinners.
Port placement and removal are covered by most private insurance providers as well as Medicare. We will seek authorization from your insurance company prior to your procedure.
Preparing for your procedure
If you are on blood thinners your doctor will instruct you if you need to stop these medications prior to the procedure. If your procedure requires sedation, then you will need a responsible adult to give you a ride home.
Recovering from your procedure
You may possibly receive mild to moderate sedation during your procedure. You will stay in the recovery area until you are ready for discharge. You will be given written post procedure discharge instructions that will advise you about return to normal physical activity. If you have any questions after your procedure, please call the RIA Interventional Suite at 720-493-3406.