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Hi Ella! The answer to the port question is, of course, "depends".

Portacaths can be kept in a really long time. I have one patient who has had hers in for 10 years (not something I would recommend!) You just have to make sure you keep it flushed once a month so it doesn't become occluded. The risks of keeping it in are infection and blood clots. The infection risk if you aren't using it a lot is pretty low. Be careful if you have a port and are having dental work done, you should take the same precautions (i.e. antibiotics) as someone with a prosthetic heart valve. The risk of blood clots is a little higher, I put some of my patients on a very low dose blood thinner to help prevent them.

Having said that, if you aren't planning on using it anymore (and doesn't sound like you are!) then I'd get it out. Exception to that is if you have really bad veins and are getting bloodwork checked a lot but even then I'm not crazy about leaving them in. I used to advice keeping it in for 2 years "just in case". I've decided that's just negative thinking and now recommend taking it out when we are done with it.

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Thanks Doc,

I do get it flushed once a month. I go again in Dec. to the Onc. Dr. and

I think I'm going to request to have it removed. Hopefully I won't ever

need one again. And I do have crappy veins. Thanks so much for your


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I like oncodoc's answer. Lucie has had the present port now since January 2003. We are glad she did not have it removed when treatment was completed in May 2003 because she has small hidden veins and the second round of chemo she is presently under is so much easier with it. Since she is Stage IV, we plan to keep the port in. The first one was installed in Nov. 2002 and she got a staph infection in it that went systemic while she was in the hospital in December. The second one has not had any problems because it is only used for chemo and is flushed regularly. Don

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You all are going to laugh...

I still have mine in, because I believe in Murphy.

Murphy says if I get it out earlier than five years, I will wish I hadn't.

Kind of like taking an umbrella with you on a cloudy day.

If you don't it is sure to rain.

The other part was any surgery that was "elective" was not something I wanted to go near, thank you very much.

I am contemplating having it out this year... sometime...

but not too soon!... lol....


Prayers always,


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Hi Guys,

After I posted to Doc I thought of Murphy's Law and also the hospital I

attend the cemo room nurses think it's a bad omon to get it out to early.

What too early is I don't know. Now I'm back to not knowing what to do.

My Onco.Dr. said in August let's wait awhile. I don't have another appt.

until Dec. but I know if I insist I can have it out. Also I was under general

anthes. when it was put in, but I hear it's a local to have it removed. What's up w/ with that? Does anyone know???

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...Chemo room nurses think it's a bad omen to get it out to early. ...

The superstitions of nurses strike again! When I worked in CCU (20+ yrs. ago), it was bad luck to remake a bed if the patient scheduled for it didn't show, so we left it turned down until the next shift when the "hex" had passed. It was all in fun, of course, but we didn't tell that to Clara, the LPN who thought a fly in a patient's room foretold trouble. :lol: In short, don't believe the "bad omen" line; believe the facts, even though they happen to give the very same advice. :D

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