After Your Procedure

Implantable ports are typically placed during a short, minor surgical procedure in an Interventional Radiology suite or Surgical suite. Once your port is placed, most facilities allow the port to be used right away for your treatment.

What you can expect after a port is placed?

After the procedure you will see some redness and tenderness in the area. This should go away in 24 to 48 hours. However, contact your doctor or nurse if you notice unusual changes in the skin such as increased swelling, redness or soreness.

If your port will be used the day it is placed, your doctor will insert an access needle into the septum during the port placement. The needle and port will be covered by a bandage or other dressing during access.

How will your port be accessed?

After the port is placed, your doctor or nurse will access the port when they need to give medicine, fluids or withdraw blood samples. The port will be accessed by placing a special needle, called a Huber needle or non-coring needle, into the port septum.

Depending on the facility or your prescribed therapy, you may be sitting up in a chair or lying down on a bed for the procedure. You may feel a mild pricking when they put the needle into the port. This sensation often gets milder over time. Ask your doctor or nurse for more details as to what you should expect.

How to maintain your port?

Your port will need to be flushed (cleansed out with fluid) when it’s not being used. This is done to make sure the catheter doesn’t become blocked. Your port will also be flushed right before the needle is removed after each treatment or infusion. Your nurse may flush your port with heparin. If you’re allergic to heparin, your port should be flushed with saline. Check your patient ID card or ask your care team for proper flushing information.  Ask your doctor or nurse how often you will return to the clinic for flushing your port.

Don't forget

Review your patient discharge packet and contact your doctor or nurse should you have any questions or experience any complications post-placement. Keep your ID card, wristband and/or key tag on you so you can show your clinician if they have any questions about what kind of port you have.