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How is a portacath removed?

How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Chocoholic on Nov 19, 2020 12:33 am

Can someone explain what happens when a Portacath is removed? I don't understand why they put us under general anesthetic to put it in, but only use local anesthetic to remove it. Well, that's what someone told me.

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Essjay on Nov 19, 2020 5:28 pm

Removal is pretty simple - I had it done under local anaesthetic, there was a little scraping and pulling but no problems.

I had mine inserted under conscious sedation (although I remember absolutely nothing)...They need you to be completely still as the line is going into a big artery, and the port needs to be located in exactly the right place...
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Chocoholic on Nov 19, 2020 11:19 pm

Thanks for the reply Essjay‍ . 
I wonder how the artery doesn't leak after they take the tube out?  
I can't believe that after everything I've gone through, I'm feeling a bit freaked out about this last procedure for some reason.

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Essjay on Nov 20, 2020 7:49 am

Chocoholic‍ the surgeon who did my removal was great. He talked to me all through the procedure. We decided I’d become part-Borg (Star Trek reference) because muscle had grown around the port (hence the scraping). I have next to no adipose tissue which would have limited that. I remember him pulling the thing out - he had be take a deep breath which I think helped release the tube and he held it up with one hand while he had a finger from his other hand  on the blood vessel. I was quickly stitched up and there was no blood! 

I was just so glad to be done with the thing - it caught on my clothes, my purse strap, seatbelts. I had to take it easy for 10 days until the stitches dissolved - no housework, gardening (not that it’s the season now), heavy lifting. I did develop a keloid scar though - I massage oil on it daily and I can tell the scar tissue is fixed to the underlying muscle. That’s just me - I have other keloid scars, cos that’s what my body does. Maybe I’ll get a tattoo to hide it...

You’ll be fine, but I totally get the worry. Someone is cutting you open again and we always worry that bad things can happen. Hope you have a treat for yourself planned after the procedure. I had icecream 🍦🍦🍦
Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by cancertakesflight on Nov 20, 2020 8:42 am

Chocoholic‍ The procedure was the same for me going in and coming out. I even had the same doctor. I was totally awake both times. In fact I remember the fact that he had a goldfish, road a motorcycle and was going on vacation the first time I saw him. He sang while he was putting it in and I asked why he wasn't singing to take it out.

cancertakesflight 
Laughter is a lifestyle choice. www.laughterandcancer.com/blog

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Kims1961 on Nov 20, 2020 9:13 am

Chocoholic‍  
It seemed strange to me that i was up under general anesthesia to have the portacath inserted, yet just a local taking it out!

I had a new surgeon, who i hadn't met before, take it out.  It was her first time , so i think she was more nervous than I!  She had to do quite a bit of tugging to get it out, but as the others have said, it is relatively simple.  I have a small scar where the portacath was, to me it's a gentle reminder of the chemo journey.  I see it as my pathway to healing.

All the best, Kim
Her2+, ER+ Bilateral mastectomy in 2017, followed by chemo and radiation. Mack and Hannah's mom

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Hezz on Nov 21, 2020 7:36 am

Hi Chocoholic‍ ...
I had mine removed a couple weeks ago under local. There was A LOT of tugging and scraping, but I couldn't feel any pain at the time. My surgeon was concerned with trying to make the incision look pretty so it would heal well, therefore my procedure took about 30 minutes but they usually dont take nearly that long.
I was bruised and sore for a few days and, of course, no lifting or housework on that side for 2 weeks. Otherwise it was easy peasy.
Hezz :)

Re: How is a portacath removed?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 21, 2020 7:57 am

Chocoholic‍ Wrote:

I wonder how the artery doesn't leak after they take the tube out?  


I’m not sure, but I’m going to go with it’s one of those miracles of the human body!

💛 I hope your procedure goes well.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying