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Portacath recovery

Hello folks, I haven't been around much for quite a while now, but I've come back to you to ask for a little advice. My veins are rubbish these days and it's regularly taking at least 20 attempts to get venous access when I have an exacerbation, and even then the canulae don't last long at all. Consequently I've been referred for a portacath, which I'm sure is going to make life so much easier. Yesterday I went to see the consultant (plumber ;oP ) who's going to be doing the op and I now have a date for it - 14th September. Hurray! However, I forgot to ask him how long it takes to recover after the op, in terms of the wound healing and getting back to my normal activities. Anyone know? Also, I'm presuming there'll be some discomfort in moving my arm afterwards because of where the port will be situated, so has this restricted driving for anyone? If so, for how long?

Thanks in advance,


5 Replies

i had my port a few months ago, and it is amazing! does not hurt much at alll after surgery just a lil bit sore and you can prob go home the same day as the op unless you are having IV's before and after surgery?? i had IV's before and after my op which meant i was in for longer (but i have anther lung conditions) you can do pretty much anything after the surgery just not things like rugby or anything to rough lol good luck with it!! hope it all goes welll

xxx :)


Thanks for that, Chloe. I am having it done as a day case, providing there aren't any complications. Doc says there shouldn't be any complications as they're only about 1% but I guess I have to be prepared for the possibility. Anyway, the plan is that it's done and I can go home in a day. I'm so looking forward to it (in an odd kind of way) as it's going to make life so much simpler. There's no chance of me *ever* doing anything like rugby - lol - so that won't be a miss. I'll speak to the doc and my physio about other exercise as I'm about to start pulmonary rehab. I'm really pleased to hear that there's not much pain after the op, which means that I'll likely be able to drive soon afterwards as well.

Thanks again.


just to say i am on port-a cath number 2 and am delighted to say that dispite a little bruising and discomfort was back on top form within days of both surgeries!! The 1st lasted 11years and am keeping my fingers crossed for the current one.The 1st portacath was inserted under my right armpit ( well down abit near ribs) this was a bit difficult for me to access, 2nd one inserted on leftside of chest and i am easily able to access it so much happier. I had no problems driving. Obviously everyone recovers at different rates so be guided by how you feel.

good luck.



Thank you, Chell, that's really helpful. It's great to hear that the first portacath lasted so long as well. Do you know if they have an average 'shelf-life' (for want of a better term)?

As far as I'm aware, my port is going to be inserted just below my left clavical, in the chest. I won't be needing to access it myself really, but I'm in hospital (and critical) a lot with my asthma and my veins are all but packed up so I need the port for amino and other IVs.

Again, I'm ever so pleased to hear that driving won't be a problem. My mobility isn't good and I'm very dependent upon my car so it's great that it shouldn't be a problem. Such a relief.

Thank you, again.


Slightly aside, but does everybody who has a port have a single lumen port?

I only ask as I currently have a hickman line in, and I'm hoping it will get changed for a portacath in the near future. However, I had a few problems when in hospital recently as there were several things that couldn't run alongside each other, so as my hickman is single lumen, I still neeeded to have cannulas inserted - which sort of defeated the object of the exercise!

i was on a pretty much continuous iv aminophylline or salbutamol infusion, and for the antibiotics they simply stopped the infusion for a few minutes and pushed the antibiotics through as a bolus. I also needed iv fluid with potassium almost continuously, and that was achieved by putting one of those 'splitters' (don't know what they're really called!) onto the end of teh hickman, so the two could run simultaneously. However, I also needed a couple fo blood transfusions, and as blood and aminophylline couldn't be in the line at the same time I either needed a cannula or the aminophylline stopped. I ended up with a 5-lumen central line as well, but obviously that's not ideal.

Has anybody had this problem with a port? Do you have sufficient iv access? Does anybody have a double-lumen port?



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