“Portacath ” is a generic term that describes any implantable venous access device. If you are to receive chemotherapy we will probably suggest that a portacath be inserted.A small intravenous catheter several millimeters in diameter and 20 – 25 centimeters in length is inserted into a large vein behind the clavicle. The catheter is connected to a “port” which is about the diameter of a 25 cent coin. The port is then placed underneath the skin of the chest where it can be easily felt and “accessed” by a nurse. Administration of an intravenous medication or collection of a blood sample is both simplified and made much less uncomfortable for you when a portacath is available.

Once placed we recommend that a portacath not be removed until the likelihood of a recurrence of your cancer is minimal.