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Portacaths (Implantable Device)

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Portacaths are recommended when you require frequent administrations of fluids or medications. The device is implanted completely under your skin. The portal section is implanted on your chest wall by making a small incision. The catheter portion is then tunnelled or pushed from the port to the base of your neck where it is inserted into the jugular vein where it is advanced until the tip of the catheter is located just above the heart. The position of the catheter tip is checked by the use of an Xray. The incision is then closed with sutures. Portacaths can be left in place for months or even years.

Day of Procedure

  • Admission to day surgery unit
  • You will need to fast for 6 hours prior to your surgery
  • Procedure takes approximately 45 minutes
  • The incision site will have sutures under the skin that do not need to be removed
  • Keep the dressing dry and you may gently remove it on the 3rd day post procedure
  • You may have some pain or discomfort after the procedure as the local anaesthetic wears off. You may require some pain relief overnight
  • Check the incision site daily for the next 7 days for any signs of redness, swelling or discharge. If you have any concerns contact your GP or the rooms on the number listed in our contact details
  • Your portacath has been flushed with a heparin/saline solution called heparin locking and does not need any further flushing prior to it being used.

Please contact ICON or you’re referring Physician for further details on this.

Removal of the Portacath Requires

  • Admission to a day surgery unit
  • Procedure takes about 20 minutes
  • Small incision on the chest wall at the site of the portacath hub under local anaesthetic
  • Sutures used to close the site are under the skin and do not need to be removed
  • Dressing applied to incision site - please keep dry for 48 hours then remove gently
  • Observe the site for the next 7 days for signs of redness, swelling or discharge. If you have any concerns contact your GP or the rooms on the number listed in our contact details.