Port-what does it look like?

I've read a lot of positive things about having a port for chemo and I get mine put in next week and will have 6 rounds of chemo for Ovarian Cancer.

My question is what does it look like under the skin? Is it real noticeable? Where is it situated exactly and does it hurt? Anything else you can share is greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Kris Olson

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Hi Kris,
I had a port put in back in February. It certainly is better than having an i.v. in your hand for chemo. I don't really notice my port, but I am also a bigger girl. I have heard that if you are thin it is more noticable. I personally notice the scar more than the port. My port is situated on the right side of my chest above my breast. As for it being painful, I have to say that mine hurts ever-so-often and that is usually when I am lying down and put pressure on it from my arm (laying on my right side). It was a little painful the night after I had it done and sore for a couple of days after that. But it didn't seem to last long.
I hope this has helped you. If you have any other questions or if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know!
Take care,
Angie

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Hi Kolson, I had a port put in while I was still in the hospital for the debulking surgery in 2005. I was in remission for 28 months so they took it out. I am now taking chemo again and this time the port is different. It was put in the right side of my upper chest (left side first time) and is called a Power Port. I think one of the differences is that a certain kind of needle has to be used to access it and certain kinds of scans can be done through it. This one is more unsightly than the first and is uncomfortable at times, but if it keeps me from being stuck to pieces each time, I can deal with it. There is a small scar in my neck and a tube runs down from that about two inches, then about a three inch scar where the port is. It feels like a little knot about the size of a marble under the skin. Nurses are always so glad when they find out you have a port. It is really hard to describe. Maybe others can describe it better.

Best of luck with yours. Let us know how it works out.

Rachel

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It's been a while since I had my port, but it was put under the skin just above my right breast. It was low enough that you really couldn't see it. Just a slight bump. After you heal from them putting it in, you shouldn't feel anything. It is so much better having that than them using your arms, faster too. You will have to have them send a solution through it to flush it out though. I only had to have mine in for 6 mos. Six months to the day I had it removed. The tissues in that area had already started to grow over the port, and now I have a slight indent where it was. And that was over 9 yrs. ago. Hope this helps. Good luck with your treatments and come back and keep us posted.

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I did get my port and I am glad I did. I had my first treatment and it was okay that day and really bad the next three. I have 5 more to go.
Thanks to all of you for the info on the port. It was a good decision.

Kris

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Hi Kris - I absolutely love my port. It did not hurt to be put in (conscious sedation). Mine is about 1-2 inches below my collarbone. The incision scar is about 1 inch long (horizontally). There is a visible bump where the port is, but to me the scar looks worse than the bump.

I have had 5 rounds of chemo and the port has made the process so much easier. Each time I go for chemo, I hear someone having a hard time getting access to a vein, so I am very thankful that I have one. The port is great for blood tests and chemo, they only have to access it once for everything on the day of chemo.

Good luck to you and let me know if you have any other questions.

-Sonya
sonya.oster@yahoo.com

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The port looks like a lump under the skin. I just got mine 2 weeks ago. I still cover the area with tape and gauze. I was afraid to look at it at first but now I am not.

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I am sorry I almost forgot it is noticeable if you have on a tank top or a v-neck. My port is situated on the left side on top of my breast where the main artery is located. It will be sore of course but a flap will be lft to heal on it on, which scared me at first.

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Hi Kris,
I had a port put in for chemo and will keep it in until after my reconstruction is completed. Sometimes I notice it more often but the bottom line is you have so many other things going on that becomes the least of your worries. Good luck!! Oh, it looks like the end of a stethascope.

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2 of my best friends were fighting cancer and had ports when I was diagnosed. They advised me to get one. I had 3 months of chemo and then a year of Herceptin and was thankful for the port. I had it taken out a few months ago, but only because it seem to be a negitive thinking thing to keep it in.

It hurt some at first, but after site heals, it only bothered me if I accidently hit it. It was up above my right breast and there is a little scar that will lighten up. I was working when I went through this and all of my co-workers were interested, so I showed them the port, etc.

If needed, I will not hestitate to get another one. A Vascular surgeon put it in and took it out. When he talked to be before the surgery, I let him know I liked to wear V neck and round neck tops and could wear them without the port being seen after he put it in.

The port was even used to give me anesthesia for some minor surgery. Also my Oncolist ued it to draw blood for all the blood test they do.

I really recommend getting one.

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Like my bald head, I don't even try to hide the port with clothing. If it shows, I don't care. But that's me, I've never cared what others thought about how I look, dress, or eat.

I've had people ask about it and others look at it as some sort of "disease".....if they only knew the half of what I've gone through.

My mom had one when she started chemo - a different kind of port that barely shows, mine shows much more. Location is generally the same as described, but either left or right depending on what you do in daily life. I wish I had it installed on my left rather than my right because I sleep on my right side and sometimes it does bother me because of the position.

The nurses in the infusion room seem to "fight" over who gets the new patient with the port. That way they don't have to fight to find a vein in a patient that doesn't have a port. Often times when they have a hard time, it makes for a much crankier patient, but not always either.

Wish I didn't have one, but the alternative seems much more uncomfortable.

Currently, I'm finished with 6 rounds of chemo. But after this next surgery on the 19th, I very well may be back to having chemo again. The CT scan does not clearly show whether this is scar tissue or a tumor that was not erradicated with chemo. Long story on that. But anyway, I'm glad for the port with having to go through CT scans as well, they access it and the exam seems faster. I've had CT scan now with and without port and much prefer with.

Good luck with yours. Try not to "hate" it too much. I wear mine as a badge of honor in my fight. Hey, I figure I might as well make the best of the situation!

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I did have a port, and it was the best thing! Then I got blood clots and had to have it taken out. Now, I have a terrible time with IV's and have to get poked every week for my blood tests. I was in the hospital 3 months ago for a knee replacement, and I blew 10 IV's before they finally put a pic line in. I'm hoping that if I have to have chemo again, that I can get a port in again. I will be praying for you. Take care, Jackie

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