Portacaths are implantable venous devices that provide access for the regular administering of chemotherapy for patients requiring such treatments.

They can be used in clinical settings under direct medical supervision for easy intravenous access. But they also make it possible for patients to administer the treatment themselves at home when therapy that must continue after a hospital stay. There are some distinctive risks of portacath complications and their use should be monitored by medical professionals.

Benefits of the device outweigh possible complications

These include the following treatment regimens.

  • They are perfect for delivering long-term chemotherapy to cancer patients.
  • They provide a method of injecting antibiotics into the blood directly for anti-viral and other medical treatments.
  • They can deliver blood products for patients suffering from diseases of the blood.
  • For patients who are unable to eat, they provide a way to deliver intravenous sustenance.

Some of the most common problems

Since the port is implanted by surgical methods, there is always the risk of complications somPortacath Devicee of which are the following.

  • Bleeding in the area around the catheter insertion.
  • Infection of the area. Immuno-compromised patients may have infection without any visible signs because their white cell counts are too low to rally the body’s natural defenses.
  • Injury to blood vessels from prolonged use.
  • The catheter may become clogged by coagulated blood and no longer be serviceable.
  • A condition called pneumothorax may develop, which is a lung condition.
  • Venous thrombosis may develop.
  • There may be portacath complications from the anesthesia administered for the surgical implantation.
  • There could be a malfunction in the device itself, which would require additional procedures.

Air embolisms can be life threatening if the central line develops an air pocket. Patients and medical personnel must remain vigilant against this possibility at all times. Signs include cyanosis, signified by skin color change or a severe drop in blood pressure. Other symptoms include loss of consciousness or a weak or rapid pulse.

Pinched-off syndrome is a rare complication caused by a portion of the catheter becoming pinched between the first
 rib and clavicle. Continued movements may wear completely through the catheter, severing a piece that could travel to the heart. The patient would immediately experience chest pain. The problem can be avoided by proper surgical placement of the catheter by the surgeon, and rarely occurs.

Most people weather the implantation process very well, with only minor pain afterwards, controllable by ibuprofen. After the portacath is implanted, you should avoid showers for a couple of days and not immerse the area under water for at least ten days. The device can usually be removed when the course of treatment is concluded by a simple office procedure under local anesthetic.

Warnings sign of catheter misplacement or infection may include, burning, stinging and pain at the insertion site. Swelling and the feeling of fluid under the skin can also indicate catheter misplacement or migration from the desired position. Vomiting or a persistent cough may cause the internal placement to become dislodged. Careful monitoring will prevent most portacath complications from developing, or will expedite immediate corrective action.

Portacath Insertion

Easy and less Pain with a Portacath Insertion