The importance of portacath placement for patients on long-term treatment for cancer or other debilitating ailments is immense. Patients no longer view their visits to oncology clinics as torturous experiences. This ingenious, central venous access system eliminates pain, strain on the veins and risk of infections, associated with continuous insertion of needles into the skin. Hence, continuous treatment that requires intravenous access becomes a tolerable experience, for both physician and patient.
Portacath is a medical device placed under the skin to aid in accessing the bloodstream with ease. Doctors, usually, place it beneath the skin a few inches above the right nipple. A catheter links the device to the jugular or other primary veins that lead to the heart. Therefore, medications, transfusions, intravenous feeding and fluid withdrawal become a cinch.
Chemotherapy entails frequent intravenous supply of drugs to the patient by use of needles. This becomes excruciating to the patient who has to endure numerous jabs during each session. Physicians agonize over the risk of damage to the skin tissue and veins, posed by repeated injections. Thus, portacath placement is an apt discovery to aid in cancer treatment and management.
The benefits of a central venous access system
In view of its vital uses in today’s clinical setup include:
- The port minimizes risk of injury by quicker dilution of drugs inside the major veins.
- It permits for a specific spot whereby doctors can access the bloodstream directly every time.
- Medical practitioners find it simpler to locate blood vessels making treatment faster and more efficient.
- Scar tissue forms around the portacath septum with time. This makes injections less painful to the patient.
- It becomes more comfortable to feed patients on long-term care due to cancer intravenously.
- Blood tests and treatment analysis becomes less complicated due to faster access to the bloodstream via the port.
Patients experience a heightened sense of self-esteem, since portacath placement reduces needle scarring common among cancer patients.
Ports are quite popular in cancer management due to the benefits given above.
What to expect from the surgery
Portacath insertion involves a minor surgery done under local anesthesia and conscious sedation in most clinics. Doctors normally attach the device underneath the skin below the chest or in the upper arm of the patient. Afterwards, there is little cause for concern because skin completely covers it. In fact, you would be able to wear open necked clothes and resume bathing or swimming without worrying about damage to the port. However, you might feel slight discomfort immediately after the surgery. Nonetheless, this is more bearable than the anguish of copious jabs required during cancer treatment and management. You may obtain over the counter painkillers such as Demerol to ease inflammation due to portacath placement surgery. Your doctor will provide you with a schedule for regular flushing of the portacath device. This prevents formation of blood clots that could clog the catheter inhibiting its functionality. Saline solution and heparin, an anti-coagulant are used for flushing the port regularly.
Portacath placement is a cutting-edge discovery in the medical field. Patients on long-term care due to cancer and other terminal illnesses no longer have to worry about painful injections. The risk of injuries or infections due to frequent syringe shots also reduces. Hence, the device offers relief to numerous patients who undergo intravenous treatment as part of long-term care.
Several Ways to Address Portacath Complications.