Patients who need chronic medications, intravenous fluids or frequent, lifelong blood draws may benefit from port placement. A port is a central line connected to a small, encapsulated receptacle of silicon or plastic. The catheter is placed in a similar fashion to a central line and tunneled into place. The receptacle of material or “port” is embedded under the skin and connected to the catheter. The entire device is implanted under the skin. Staff can access the port with a special needle directly through the skin. This eliminates the need for an IV for blood draws or medication administration. Most ports are placed somewhere on the chest wall. The internal jugular or subclavian vein is used for venous access. A cephalic vein cut down is also possible. It is possible to use the femoral vein or a lumbar vein as well. However, these sites are less commonly used. Ports are ideal for patients who require routine, caustic medications such as those patients undergoing chemotherapy or rheumatologic medications. Some patients who require frequent blood draws or fluids with troublesome veins, such as patients with Crohn’s disease or sickle cell disease, may also benefit from a port.
The risks for port placement are similar to those involved in placing a central line. In addition, ports can become infected. Any implanted device within the body has the possibility of infection. It is imperative that patients follow cleaning and care instructions to prevent an infection. Unfortunately, if the port becomes infected it requires removal. Once the patient is no longer bacteremic or infected, a new port can be placed in a different location.
Because of the risks associated with port placement, patients on Florida’s West Coast should locate the best board-certified general surgeon. This board-certification through written and oral exam signifies a level of expertise necessary to perform this and other surgical procedures. Dr. Jenna Kazil is a distinguished double board-certified general and vascular surgeon. Jenna Kazil, MD, FACS, RPVI is an outstanding surgical specialist working as a general and vascular surgeon seeing patients from South Sarasota to East Desoto and Hardee to North Hillsborough to West Manatee and Pinellas counties. Patients requiring a port placement should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic today to schedule an appointment.