Implanted Port Removal

What is Implanted Port Removal

Implanted port removal is a procedure to remove the port and catheter that are implanted under your skin. The port is a small disc under your skin that can be punctured with a needle.

It is connected to a vein in your chest or neck by a small flexible tube (catheter). The implanted port is used to give medicines for treatments, and it may also be used to take blood samples.

Your health care provider will remove the implanted port if:

  • You no longer need it for treatment.
  • It is not working properly.
  • The area around it gets infected.

Tell a health care provider about:

  • Any allergies you have.
  • All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
  • Any blood disorders you have.
  • Any surgeries you have had.
  • Any medical conditions you have.
  • Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.

What are the risks?

Generally, this is a safe procedure. However, problems may occur, including:

  • Infection.
  • Bleeding.
  • Allergic reactions to anesthetic medicines.
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels.

What happens before the procedure?

Medicines

  • Ask your health care provider about:
    • Changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
    • Taking medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. These medicines can thin your blood. Do not take these medicines unless your health care provider tells you to take them.
    • Taking over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements.

General instructions

  • You will have:
    • A physical exam.
    • Blood tests.
    • Imaging tests, including a chest X-ray.
  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about eating or drinking restrictions.
  • Ask your health care provider how your surgical site will be marked or identified.
  • Ask your health care provider what steps will be taken to help prevent infection. These may include:
    • Removing hair at the surgery site.
    • Washing skin with a germ-killing soap.
    • Antibiotic medicine.
  • Plan to have someone take you home from the hospital or clinic.
  • If you will be going home right after the procedure, plan to have a responsible adult care for you for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital or clinic. This is important.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You may be given one or more of the following:
    • A medicine to help you relax (sedative).
    • A medicine to numb the area (local anesthetic).
  • A small incision will be made at the site of your implanted port.
  • The implanted port and the catheter that has been inside your vein will be gently removed.
  • The port and catheter will be inspected to make sure that all the parts have been removed. Part of the catheter may be tested for bacteria.
  • The incision will be closed with stitches (sutures), adhesive strips, or skin glue.
  • A bandage (dressing) will be placed over the incision. The health care provider may apply gentle pressure over the dressing for about 5 minutes.

The procedure may vary among health care providers and hospitals.

What happens after the procedure?

  • Your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen level will be monitored until you leave the hospital or clinic.
  • You will be monitored to make sure that there is no bleeding from the site where the port was removed.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you were given a sedative during your procedure.

Summary

  • Implanted port removal is a procedure to remove the port and catheter that are implanted under your skin.
  • Before the procedure, follow your health care provider’s instructions about changing or stopping your regular medicines. This is especially important if you are taking diabetes medicines or blood thinners.
  • If you will be going home right after the procedure, plan to have a responsible adult care for you for at least 24 hours after you leave the hospital or clinic.

Implanted Port Removal, Care After

This sheet gives you information about how to care for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you more specific instructions. If you have problems or questions, contact your health care provider.

What can I expect after the procedure?

After the procedure, it is common to have:

  • Soreness or pain near your incision.
  • Some swelling or bruising near your incision.

Follow these instructions at home:

Medicines

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your health care provider. Do not stop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.

Bathing

  • Do not take baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves. Ask your health care provider if you can take showers. You may only be allowed to take sponge baths.

Incision care

  • Follow instructions from your health care provider about how to take care of your incision. Make sure you:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before you change your bandage (dressing). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Change your dressing as told by your health care provider.
    • Keep your dressing dry.
    • Leave stitches (sutures), skin glue, or adhesive strips in place. These skin closures may need to stay in place for 2 weeks or longer. If adhesive strip edges start to loosen and curl up, you may trim the loose edges. Do not remove adhesive strips completely unless your health care provider tells you to do that.
  • Check your incision area every day for signs of infection. Check for:
    • More redness, swelling, or pain.
    • More fluid or blood.
    • Warmth.
    • Pus or a bad smell.

Driving

  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you were given a medicine to help you relax (sedative) during your procedure.
  • If you did not receive a sedative, ask your health care provider when it is safe to drive.

Activity

  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
  • Do not lift anything that is heavier than 10 lb (4.5 kg), or the limit that you are told, until your health care provider says that it is safe.
  • Do not do activities that involve lifting your arms over your head.

General instructions

  • Do not use any products that contain nicotine or tobacco, such as cigarettes and e-cigarettes. These can delay healing. If you need help quitting, ask your health care provider.
  • Keep all follow-up visits as told by your health care provider. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • You have more redness, swelling, or pain around your incision.
  • You have more fluid or blood coming from your incision.
  • Your incision feels warm to the touch.
  • You have pus or a bad smell coming from your incision.
  • You have pain that is not relieved by your pain medicine.

Get help right away if you have:

  • A fever or chills.
  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Summary

  • After the procedure, it is common to have pain, soreness, swelling, or bruising near your incision.
  • If you were prescribed an antibiotic medicine, take it as told by your health care provider. Do not stop taking the antibiotic even if you start to feel better.
  • Do not drive for 24 hours if you were given a sedative during your procedure.
  • Return to your normal activities as told by your health care provider. Ask your health care provider what activities are safe for you.
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