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Port-A-Cath questions


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Thinking about getting a port-a-cath.....what are the cons? Can you go swimming? Makes sense to me cause it's under the skin. Is there a particular side that they are installed in? Are they just used for drawing blood and IV's ? Seems you may not be able to use them for a CT Scan............

Thanks for the information!

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Lucie has one. They can be put on either side below the collar bone. They are under the skin, at least Lucie's is, so I imagine you can go swimming. Lucie doesn't even realize most of the time that it is there. One big con is that they can get infected. Lucie's first one became infected, had to be removed, and then one was put on the other side. It has lasted two years plus so far.

To avoid infection, we were told not to let it be used for anything but chemo, which we have honored.

The other thing is it can become plugged. So before and after each use, it must be flushed with saline and heparin. This is usually routine, but you need to watch the nurses on that and be sure it is done.

Lucie swears by hers. Don

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Brian loves his. He only has one arm so is limited on 'stickable spots'.

The portacath is very convenient.

The incision healed in 3 days..........they used it the week after it was installed.

They usually like to put them on the left side, but that would have put it right under the harness for his prosthesis..........no problem........they just put it on the right side.

It is just a little bump. YOu do not have to keep it dry, Beth, it is wonderful............go for it.........You just have to be sure it is 'irrigated and gets some heperine every 30 days.

They draw his bloodwork with it, infuse chemo and also put the stuff in before his CTs.

We give it 2 thumbs up.


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Mum had one put in over eighteen months ago and has had no problems with it. She has also had it used for blood work etc. Mum also goes swimming with it. She has also had scans with it and no problem, but the radiology technician needs to know what type of port it is (I think they need to know what it is made from, as metal things are dangerous in an MRI)



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I had mine in for 3+ years and it was the best thing after the invention of sliced bread! No more needle sticks or vein searches for an IV.

Just make sure that you get it flushed every month when it's not being accessed for tests or tx regularily.......I forgot for a couple of months and had it block with a clot.

Good luck


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I got my portacath installed while I was in the hospital; right after my dx. I seldom even think about it. The only thing they told me was to get it 'flushed' every 30 days. My 1st onc said that wasn't necessary, but I think he was a moron. I've had 2 CT scans since dx. The 1st one the tech used the port. The 2nd scan the tech said they're not supposed to use the port for the IV. I'm sure glad it's there as my veins are sometimes very hard to find for those needle sticking, blood sucking vampires.

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Hi Beth,

I had a port for 16 months, had it out on March10th. I had to have it flushed every 5 to 6 weeks but other than that had no problems. It served

it's purpose if you have crappy veins. Did everything just like it wasn't there. The only thing that did bug me, was that my grandkids tended to bang their heads on it when they would try to put there heads on my shoulder,and that would hurt. It was a joke to watch out for grammy's port.

Take care!


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