Your port has 3 parts:
- Portal or reservoir -- a pouch that is made of hard metal or plastic
- Rubber top -- where a needle is inserted into the portal
- Tube or catheter -- carries medicine or blood from the portal to a large vein and into the heart
To get medicine or nutrition through your port, a trained nurse or doctor will stick a special needle through your skin and the rubber top and into the portal. A numbing cream can be used on your skin to decrease the pain of the needle stick.
- Your port may be used in your home, in a clinic, or in the hospital.
- A sterile dressing (bandage) will be placed around your port when it is used to protect you against infection.
When your port is not being used, you can bathe or swim, as long as your doctor says you are ready for activity. Check with your doctor if you plan to do any contact sports, such as soccer and football.
Nothing will stick out of your skin when your port is not being used. This decreases your chance of infection.
About once a month, you will need to have your port flushed to help prevent clots. To do this, your health care provider will use a special solution.
Ports can be used for a long time. When you no longer need your port, your health care provider will remove it.