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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Getting a Port-A-Cath...Experiences???

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Author Topic: Getting a Port-A-Cath...Experiences???
kreynolds
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Hey,

Well I've had it with PICC lines. Went throught 2 of 'em.

The doc put in an order for a Port-A-Cath in my chest.

I was curious if anyone has had this procedure done and what it all entails.

I know I will be "knocked out", but how long does the actual surgery take?

Also for people who had PICC lines and a Port which one did they prefer?

I just read about them, like I can take a shower and all that, but would like to hear from people that have had them.

Thanks Again!

--------------------
Diagnosed CDC + 6/2007

Quest: + IGG Bands 18,23,39,41,58,66 and 93.

Quest: + IGM Bands
23,39

Quest: + Bartonella (B.Henselea & B. Quintana),+ Babesia, and + Mycoplasma and Lyme-Induced Addisons Disease

+ Biofilm blood test 12/2010

Posts: 1185 | From New York | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kreynolds
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anyone??

--------------------
Diagnosed CDC + 6/2007

Quest: + IGG Bands 18,23,39,41,58,66 and 93.

Quest: + IGM Bands
23,39

Quest: + Bartonella (B.Henselea & B. Quintana),+ Babesia, and + Mycoplasma and Lyme-Induced Addisons Disease

+ Biofilm blood test 12/2010

Posts: 1185 | From New York | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AP
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OK... I have 2 years of experience with port-a-caths... I too was done with PICC lines, and sought info from members of this board who have dealt with ports.

Everyone was very helpful in telling me about the benefits. I didn't really realize there would be a downside to having a port, but I'm a pretty unique patient, and I lost count when the 5th port was implanted.

There is a possibility that you can grow a fibrin sheath at the point where the catheter opens. I do this really quickly and am now on blood thinners to prevent my body's natural reaction to the port. A fibrin sheath can be "stripped" through a very uninvasive method in interventional radiology, where they thread a "lasso" up through a vein in your groin and pull off the tissue.

The line, despite the fact that it is internal, can get kinked. It's happened to me once, resulting in removal and replacement of the port. I honestly believe it was the doctor's negligence that led to that problem.

Much like when I had PICC lines, my veins have recently begun "closing" and not allowing medication to travel into the bloodstream.

I've had a couple septic infections, due to hospital mishandling, and they're much more serious when working with an implantable device. There was one that actually occurred right outside of the port, and made it impossible to access the port and get medication.

I've had a ton of ports, and despite all the problems, I would much rather have a port than any of the alternatives. I have numerous scars on both sides of my chest from all the operations I've needed over the last couple years, but it still seems to be the easiest way to deliver IV antibiotics into my body.

I'm not trying to scare you, just let you know that there are things that can go wrong. (my friends refer to me as Murphy's Law)

I was kind of scared the first time the port was accessed. You can get lidocaine cream to soften the blow if you are unsure of how you'll handle the stick. It really is no big deal though... Really. A quick bee sting, at the most.

I eventually taught myself how to access and maintain my port and became self-sufficient when it came to dealing with the catheter. Again, no big deal...

I like being able to fully shower without having to hang an arm out of the tub or wrap myself in saran wrap that was bound to leak.

Other than the problems I've had with individual ports and my body choosing not to accept the catheter, I have no complaints about my port-a-cath(s).

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

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kreynolds
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AP:

Thanks for sharing your story. Do they actually stick the needle in your heart?

Ohh boy. I guess it's for the best. I am tired of PICC lines.

I know a lot about PICCs, but nothing about ports...

I am going to have my nurse teach me everything.

You can shower with it right? What about lifting like my son?

With my PICC I had to avoid my left arm at all costs...

It would be nice not to have to worry about it...

Thanks again!

--------------------
Diagnosed CDC + 6/2007

Quest: + IGG Bands 18,23,39,41,58,66 and 93.

Quest: + IGM Bands
23,39

Quest: + Bartonella (B.Henselea & B. Quintana),+ Babesia, and + Mycoplasma and Lyme-Induced Addisons Disease

+ Biofilm blood test 12/2010

Posts: 1185 | From New York | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AP
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I know that for about 6 weeks after each surgery, you have to refrain from lifting. Nurses at first told me to keep the accessed port out of the shower, but I'm not one to listen. The dressings I use are waterproof and my current nurse does not advise against showering.

There's no needle within your body... I've sort of explained things for my friends that don't understand things as easily as others in a video ( myspace video ) The port is put in, threaded subcutaneously up to your collarbone area, then down into the vein. It's up to the doctor doing the procedure whether it actually drops into your heart or not.

I can't feel it either way. I had one where the catheter extended 4cm into the right atrium of my heart and did cause extreme pain, but that was human error...

I think you'll be fine, and really enjoy the freedom the port will bring.

I was 25 when I got my first port, and felt like I could better function as a young woman with the port, as opposed to peripheral IVs and PICC lines.

I'm not currently on IV meds, and aside from having to flush my port with heparin 2x a week, I don't notice it's there.

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

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kreynolds
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Thanks again,


I talked to my nurse and she had told me that she has patients that have had them in for 10 years!

I would much rather have a port then another PICC.

I am just anxious to see what it's all about.

Also after having my Power PICC in for 8 months, it was nice to take a shower with BOTH arms!

How long is the actual surgery?

I know they put you under, but about how long from start to finish does it take? Like leave the hospital and on my way home...

Thanks!

--------------------
Diagnosed CDC + 6/2007

Quest: + IGG Bands 18,23,39,41,58,66 and 93.

Quest: + IGM Bands
23,39

Quest: + Bartonella (B.Henselea & B. Quintana),+ Babesia, and + Mycoplasma and Lyme-Induced Addisons Disease

+ Biofilm blood test 12/2010

Posts: 1185 | From New York | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tracy9
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I need a port too; how do i get it ordered? Just the LLD just write an order for it, or do I need to find and see a surgeon? Of course my LLD is out of the area, and not on staff at the hospital, but since this is a surgical procedure do I need to find a surgeon first?

--------------------
NO PM; CONTACT: [email protected]

13 years Lyme & Co.; Small Fiber Neuropathy; Myasthenia Gravis, Adrenal Insufficiency. On chemo for 2 1/2 years as experimental treatment for MG.

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AP
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Yeah, 10 years, that's why I went for it.

I'd much rather redo all the problems I've had with my port than another PICC...

I don't have a surgeon put in the port, rather an interventional radiologist. My surgeon monitors the ports health, but interventional radiology has the procedure mastered... Well, for everyone but me it seems.

My surgery experiences aren't like other people's... Sedation hardly ever works. It's horrific, and something that I've gotten used to. In intervetional radiology, they don't use general anesthesia, rather conscious sedation.

My first port, the one that lasted a year, from check-in to discharge the whole thing lasted maybe 2 or 3 hours, with the insertion only taking 15 minutes.

Nowadays, they've got to cut me open on both sides of my chest because they switch the port back and forth. Procedures for me take hours...

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

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AP
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quote:
Originally posted by Tracy9:
I need a port too; how do i get it ordered? Just the LLD just write an order for it, or do I need to find and see a surgeon? Of course my LLD is out of the area, and not on staff at the hospital, but since this is a surgical procedure do I need to find a surgeon first?

My out of state LLMD ordered the procedure through interventional radiology at a hospital near me. They do put them in in a lot of interventional radiology departments these days and it's just like ordering a PICC...

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

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hshbmom
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AP, how long did you have to wait between ports? Did you replace one in the same side immediately?


I'm having a port taken out April 14, but will have to wait to have a second one placed.


1. Can fibrin break off like a blood clot?


2. How do you keep the accessed needle dry in the shower? All the dressings I've tried either sweat or get wet inside the dressing.


3. Do IV medication burn your veins? Everything burns my veins, whether it is normal saline, lactated ringer's solution, or the IV medication. I don't know if this is normal, but no one has been able to explain it.
...maybe it's due to systemic vasculitis??

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hshbmom
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Did you see these recent links and information?


http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/79381

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AP
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quote:
Originally posted by hshbmom:
AP, how long did you have to wait between ports? Did you replace one in the same side immediately?


I'm having a port taken out April 14, but will have to wait to have a second one placed.


1. Can fibrin break off like a blood clot?


2. How do you keep the accessed needle dry in the shower? All the dressings I've tried either sweat or get wet inside the dressing.


3. Do IV medication burn your veins? Everything burns my veins, whether it is normal saline, lactated ringer's solution, or the IV medication. I don't know if this is normal, but no one has been able to explain it.
...maybe it's due to systemic vasculitis??

I have never had to wait to have a new port put in, whether it be on the same or opposite side.

I don't believe that a fibrin sheath can break off like a blood clot... Of course, the community around here sees a blood clot in my line, and they do nothing so I wouldn't live by those words.

I keep the dressing dry (or prevent it from sweating) by not taking really hot showers... I did see mention of aquaguards in one post, and that's what they give me when I'm hospitalized, but I really don't see a difference.

It depends on the medication I am on... Some injections when given into the port choke me and leave me breathless to the point where I've been given epi right before surgery. I've had plasma and blood products infused into the port and had some interesting results... Generally, medications do not hurt when I infuse.

If there is pain around the port while infusing, it's likely that it is not properly accessed...

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

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hshbmom
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Thanks AP.


All IV injections burn, including the ones through the port.

Thanks for the feedback.

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AP
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You're welcome... I can barely stand peripheral IV injections about 50% of the time... When I can feel them, you can actually trace the vein they travel through from the IV site into my armpit. When that happes, the vein is normally red, and inflamed...

--------------------
Sometimes when I say Oh, Im fine I want someone to look me in the eyes & say tell the truth

Myspace: http://tinyurl.com/5p64ed

Posts: 644 | From WA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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