Port Removal

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Port removal may be done because the device is no longer needed, the device is malfunctioning, or the port needs to be removed due to infection.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • Do not eat or drink anything at least eight hours before the procedure
  • Tell your radiologist about any allergies, especially to local or general anesthetics and contrast materials (“x-ray dye”)
  • Bring a list of medications you are currently taking and their dosage
  • If you are diabetic, the physician will give you insulin and/or anti-diabetic medication dosing instructions
  • If you are taking a blood thinner or aspirin product, the physician will instruct you when to stop taking these medications
  • Inform your radiologist if you are pregnant
  • You should plan to have someone take you home after the procedure
  • Before your procedure, you’ll meet with your Jefferson Radiology physician for a consultation
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form before the procedure is performed
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • You will be given a gown to wear during your treatment
  • You will be relaxed during the procedure and can go home after a recovery period
  • Most patients feel minimal discomfort after the procedure


How Does It Work?

The port is removed in its entirety. You will be asked to sign a consent form before the port is removed.

What Happens — Before, During, and After?

A clinical staff member will bring you into the pre-procedure area and ask you to change into a gown. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein in your hand or arm. Your doctor will greet you, review the procedure, and answer any questions you may have. You will be brought into the procedure room, and you‘ll be positioned on the procedure table. You will be connected to a monitor for your heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse.

The technologist will shave, sterilize, and cover the area of your body where the port is with a drape. A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area where the device is implanted. The radiologist will make an incision and expose the port. Once the port is exposed using gentle traction, the port and its catheter will be removed in its entirety. The pocket will be irrigated and cleaned. Then the skin will be closed with sutures and liquid suture material. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour.

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How Should I Prepare?

There are things you can do to make your experience more comfortable, and many of these will depend on your individual preferences. You might like to keep a list of questions or – as you’re doing now- educate yourself about the procedure.

Another important part of your preparation will be guided by your doctor:

  • Your doctor may ask you to stop taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), or blood thinners (such as Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, Fragmin) for a time before the procedure.

Some of your preparation will need to be timed to the procedure:

  • You should plan to have someone take you home after the procedure as you will not be able to drive after sedation
  • You may need to get blood tests to check your blood clotting parameters
  • Five days before the procedure, stop taking vitamin E
  • The day before the procedure (or the Friday before, if you’re scheduled for a Monday procedure), a clinical staff member from the Interventional Radiology Department will call you. The clinical staff member will give you any additional instructions, and will ask if you have any questions.
  • In the 8 hours before the procedure, do not drink fluids or eat food.
  • You may take the medications with a sip of water
  • When you arrive, make sure the clinical staff member and radiologist know about any allergies you may have, especially allergies to local anesthetics (such as lidocaine), general anesthetics, or x-ray dye (contrast media). If there’s any chance you might be pregnant, tell your radiologist.
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What Should I Bring?

On the day of your procedure you should:

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Avoid bringing jewelry or valuables
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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of Port Removal could be:

  • Removing a non function port and placing a functioning port
  • Removing a port which is no longer needed
  • Quicker recovery from an infection

Risks you should be aware of include:

  • Like any catheterization procedure, there is risk of damage to blood vessels, bruising, bleeding, or infection at the puncture site

Keep in mind that this information is general. Your radiologist is the best source of information about how these risks and benefits may apply to you.

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