Portacath...any information please? - Lung Cancer Support

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Portacath...any information please?


My husband has secondary brain mets after seeming to be making a good recovery from lung cancer surgery. We’re devastated & he’s now starting chemo & Keytruda. The chemo unit have suggested a portacath so I’d be extremely grateful if anyone can give me some good & not good advice regarding this. It’s all so frightening & I’m not coping well at all. My husband takes everything in his stride but as his balance, co ordination & speech has been affected I want him to have the best possible treatment without causing him too many side effects or pain.

11 Replies

I really recommend a portAcath. Ive been on Keytruda for two years now (after other chemo) and it has saved me so much pain from ivs. Hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

KT22 in reply to fishydu

Thank you fishydu. Did you have any problems when it was fitted & how often does it need flushing? I’m worried about infections & pain


Seconding everything that fishydu said. Mine saved me many pokes with needles and IVs. It needs to be flushed every 4-8 weeks when not in active treatment IF he decides to keep it in when treatment finishes.

I’m 9.5 years out from chemo and I have kept mine as a kind of security blanket. The techs use it when I need to have a blood draw, or CT contrast. I’ve had a couple hospitalizations, the ER and floor techs and nurses have used it rather than poking me.

Overall it’s been a good experience.

fishydu in reply to Denzie

I agree. I'm still in treatment so it gets flushed every three weeks. I haven't had any infections or pain.

KT22 in reply to fishydu

Thank you both. It’s good to hear from people with first hand experience. My husband will have chemo & Immuno once every three weeks for 4 sessions then Immuno only every 6 weeks. That’s assuming everything goes according to the oncologist treatment plan. We’ve had the worst 3 weeks ever since this was diagnosed out of the blue following being taken into A&E after a fall. Our family are devastated so hearing some positive feedback re the portacath helps. Thank you so much

I’ve had my Powerport for 3.5 years. It was a necessity as my peripheral veins are tiny and deep and difficult to access. We use it for my weekly infusion and blood draws. Highly recommend! Wishing you all the best.

Thank you Peg, the nurse came this morning to takes bloods prior to the treatment next week & completely failed to draw any. His veins just didn’t appear or collapsed so I’m guessing he will have to have the port a Cath. Not sure how they will get the blood in the meantime.

JeanE41 in reply to KT22

As a retired RN, I suggest that a lab tech will be better able to find a suitable vein for a blood draw. They do it all the time and have the best expertise, nurses on the other hand have so many other skills that blood draws are not done by them as often.

Thanks Jean the nurse was highly experienced & is also a tutor for student nurses learning to take blood!

I have had a Power Port for more than 5 years. I am so grateful to have it. After it is installed, it will be sore for a while, and it will be uncomfortable when it is accessed for the first few times. I admittedly had a difficult time accepting it as part of “my body,” and avoided touching it in the shower even to wash it. But after a couple months, I barely even feel the needle used to access it. I love it and am grateful it is part of my body. I highly recommend his getting one. Interventional Radiology will install it, and he will either be fully anesthesized or have meds that make him “forget” and be pain free. I can’t recall.... You will want a seat belt cover (or wrap a soft cushy towel or something around the seat belt) if it will come in contact with a car seat belt. You can find them online easily.

Take deep breathes, and take it one day at a time. There is never a good time for something like this, but the pandemic has made it so much more difficult to manage cancer care. Lean on those around you, and accept offers of help. I’m Saying some prayers for you now.

Thank you so much. They got the cannula in first attempt on Tuesday so they may not need to fit the port.

Unfortunately my husband has been taken to hospital this afternoon with excruciating abdominal pain, I’m waiting to get through to the ED now.

Thank you for the prayers we really appreciate it & very kind of you.

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