Mediport Placement

mediport placementA Mediport is a small appliance that is installed beneath your skin. It is connected to one of your veins by a catheter, usually your jugular or subclavian vein. Under your skin, the port has a silicone bubble for needle insertion what is known as a “septum.” Through this septum, a doctor will be able to inject drugs and draw frequent blood samples without causing as much discomfort using other methods.

 Who Uses A Mediport?

Oncology (the study of cancer) and hematology (the study of blood) patients are usually the biggest users of Mediports. These are patients with diseases and cancers like:

How Does It Work?

A Mediport is surgically inserted under the skin of your upper chest or in your arm. To an outside viewer, it looks like a bump under your skin.  It is completely internal and requires no special maintenance. Because it culminates just upstream of the right atrium of your heart, it’s position allows substances that are injected to go into your bloodstream quickly and fully.

Placing The Mediport

mediport placementThe Mediport placement procedure is minimally invasive. You will receive only local anesthesia, pain management medication, and some sedation for the Mediport placement. You will be given two incisions that are necessary to put the Mediport in its place. The smaller incision your doctor will make is in your neck. This incision is about half an inch long. The other incision will be in your chest, and it is about three inches long. Both incisions will be closed with stitches, surgical glue, or both.

It will take you about a week to fully recover from the symptoms of bruising, swelling, and tenderness caused in the spot your Mediport was inserted will take about a week. Taking Advil and Tylenol for relief from the pain symptoms is recommended.

Leave the dressing in place for 24 hours. After 24 hours, remove the dressing over the stitches. Clean around your incision with a  wrung out soapy washcloth. Avoid washing the incision itself, just carefully and gently wash the skin surrounding the incision. Pat the area dry. Do not scrub your skin under any circumstances. Apply fresh gauzed dressing after cleaning. Replace this gauze every day for one week. Keep the healing areas dry and avoid getting it wet during showers. Bathing should be avoided until your doctor says it’s okay (probably about 15 days). If your incisions are closed with surgical glue instead of sutured with stitches, you will be able to leave your scar to heal in open air. You will have to pat clean the area with soap and water daily. You don’t have to cover the glued sights during bathing or showering. These sites can get slightly wet but do not immerse them in water unless your doctor has given you permission.

Risks Involved with Mediport Placement

Many different risks and complications can occur from Mediport placement surgery.

If you experience tenderness, more redness, and pain, swelling, or bruising at your incision sites, call your doctor. If you experience fever, chills, or increased bleeding and draining from your incisions, you should report those problems to your physician.

Although there are some risks, if you suffer from a hematological or oncological disease, your possible benefits may outweigh the risks. Consult with your doctor about Mediport placement to see if it is something you could use.

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