Blog / Random thoughts and musings.


Port installation complete

I finally found a public domain photo of a port-a-cath. As you can see, it’s just a small receptacle that gets implanted under the skin in the upper chest, and the tube gets surgically inserted into the subclavian vein. To administer chemo, or to draw blood, the nurse just needs to locate the port under the skin and poke into it with a special kind of needle. Much faster and easier (and safer) than a traditional IV setup, and since the jugular vein is much larger and carries more blood than the veins in the arms, it’s not as badly affected by the toxicity of the chemo drugs.

The surgery was pretty straightforward. I got some IV anesthesia, and a millisecond later (or so it seemed) I woke up and had a slight ache in my upper left chest. No drowsiness or nausea, I felt pretty much normal. They did a quick X-ray to make sure everything was in place correctly, and sent me home!


1 Comment

  1. Sue
    December 12, 2006

    Does this mean those platelets have a smiley face on them?