by BodyScientific

Patient Information

SEESITE® Pressure Injectable
Implantable Port
Item Scanned: SEESITE® Pressure Injectable Implantable Port Brochure: Patient Information
Real Patient Testimonials
"'The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes' – shock!   'I suggest you close your psychological practice for a year' – double shock!   'The treatment plan …. ' – triple shock!! Am I in a dream state? ….. 4 years later, I exude health and vitality far beyond the average 63- year-old!"
Read full testimonial
Gail Williams, Clinical Psychologist,
Sandton, Johannesburg – Breast Cancer Survivor
What to Expect the Day Before and During Your Procedure
 
Day Before
  • The day before the procedure (at your doctor’s rooms) or telephonically you will need to check with your medical insurer to make sure that your procedure has been authorized. In the case of not having medical insurance, your doctor’s reception will usually advise how settlement of invoices will be managed. 
     

  • Blood tests may also be done the day before your procedure.
     

  • You should discuss all medications that you may be taking with your doctor well before the procedure to ascertain which you should take on the day.
     

Day of Your Procedure

  • If your procedure is being done by a radiologist under local anaesthetic, then you will need to come to their rooms at least 1 hour before the procedure. The radiologist will insert (or remove) the port in a sterile setting. The entire procedure will only take about 40 minutes. During the procedure you will be lying on the X-ray table. The radiologist will explain everything to you while he/she is performing the insertion (or removal) of the port. During the procedure local anaesthetic is used. The incision is either closed using dissolvable sutures (usually) or by using surgical glue and Steri strips, in which case you will not need to return for suture removal. The port can be used immediately for treatment. 


 

  • If your procedure is being done by a surgeon under general anaesthetic, then you will need to come to the hospital at the time requested by your surgeon. You can expect a visit from both your anaethetist and surgeon either in the pre-op ward before the procedure, or just as you are entering theatre. Your anaethetist will check all your vital signs as per any other normal general anaesthesia pre-op check. Your surgeon will often make a mark on your skin with a surgical pen to identify the port site. Your anaethetist will use general anaesthetic and you will be sleeping during the procedure. The entire procedure will take about 1.5 hrs. Once recovered, which usually takes about 40 minutes, the recovery team will take you back to your ward. The nursing staff there will monitor you for an hour or two until your doctor gives you permission to leave. 
     

  • On discharge, your doctor or suitably qualified nursing staff will show you how to care for your port post operatively. 
     

When you get home: 
 

  • Relax at home for the rest of the day. Make sure you have a family member, friend, or caregiver to help you if at all possible. 
     

  • You may feel sleepy or have some short-term memory loss. This can last for up to 24 hours.
     

  • For 24 hours, do not: 

    • Drive a car or use machinery

    • Drink alcohol 

    • Make important decisions or sign legal documents 

    • Be responsible for the care of another person 
       

  • For the first few days, try not to lift anything heavy (± 2-3 kg. max)
     

  • Try not shower or bathe until your dressing has been changed for the first time, unless you have been given proper instructions by your doctor. 
     

  • If you must shower make sure your bandages are well covered with plastic wrap and tape the edges of the plastic to keep your bandages dry.  Try to keep the water from hitting your bandages. Gently pat dry. 
     

  • Your stitches will dissolve. They do not need to be removed. Let the white tapes (Steri-Strips) fall off on their own. This will take a week or more. Do not scrub the glue that may cover your incision.
     

Flushing Your Port
 

You will need to check with your doctor as to how often you will be receiving treatment or medication through your SEESITE® port. Depending on how often it needs to be used, the catheter connecting to the port will need to be “flushed” and “locked” between treatment sessions. 


It’s important that your SEESITE® port is “flushed” to prevent infection and keep blood from clotting. It must also be “flushed” after blood is drawn or medications are given through it.


Usually, if a port is not being accessed on a regular basis, it will be “flushed” and “locked” every 4-6 weeks. But, check with your doctor or nursing sister as to whether / how often you need to have it flushed. 


“Flushing” refers to a simple procedure that a nursing sister will perform every time your port needs to be accessed for treatment. It is a simple procedure whereby your port is accessed by a nurse and he/she will use a pre-filled syringe that contains a saline flush solution that he /she will push through the catheter to ensure that the catheter is not occluded.  “Locking” on the other hand refers to the simple procedure that a nurse will perform every time your treatment has been completed. Your catheter needs to be locked properly with CITRAFLOW®  to prevent blockage when  you come to the unit for your next treatment.  CITRAFLOW®  is similarly administered by way of a pre-filled syringe at the end of your treatment by the nurse attending to you. It is a safe anti-microbial as well as anti-coagulant. It is used as a “Locking” device to ensure that the next time you are required to receive treatment through your port, the catheter is clean, unblocked and works properly.   

 
When to Call Your Doctor

Here are some pointers for when you should immediately contact your doctor or clinician.

 

  • Shortness of breath that is getting worse 

  • New chest pain 

  • Dizziness 

  • Fever (above 38.3°C ) and/or chills 

  • Redness, swelling/ puffiness or tenderness/ pain at the needle site

  • Blistering of the skin – at the site and anywhere else on the body (arms or along extension line) 

  • Drainage or fluid leakage from the incision or along the extension line (note the colour, odour and volume as this is important information for your doctor / nurse)

  • Severe bleeding or any bleeding that does not stop after you have applied gentle pressure for about 15 minutes 

  • Vomiting (although nausea may be experienced in the first 24 hours from port insertion)

  • If your arm, neck or chest (on the same side as the port) becomes swollen and cool to the touch 

 
Port Removal
  • When you no longer need your port, you may indeed have it removed. This will require a surgical procedure again by your doctor. 

  • Sometimes, if the catheter does not work properly, it will need to be removed and replaced by a new one. But this happens very rarely. 

  • Also, if you get a serious infection at the port site, catheter site or in your bloodstream, your doctor might advise you to have your port removed. 

 
Frequently Asked Quesstions

For how long can my port stay in?
As long as you need it, unless it has to be removed prematurely because of infection or blocking. If there are no complications, it will stay in for the duration of your treatment and most doctors like to leave it in for a few more months – just to be sure that you do not need any further treatments. 

Should you need venous access indefinitely – it can stay in for many years. The septum is designed to withstand at least 1000 punctures with a non-coring needle. In the case of children, however, it may have to be replaced if it becomes too small for the growing child.


Can my port still be used even if the there is no blood coming back?
You need to check with a medical professional. In certain cases, a fibrin flap forms over the tip of the catheter and although you do not “get blood back”, your port is still safe to use.


Can I fly or go through an X-ray scanner with my port in?
Yes, you can. However, it is advisable to tell the security agents at the airport.


Is it painful to have a port inserted?
Most doctors infiltrate the area around the port with local anaesthetic, so that it will not be painful initially. Once the local anaesthetic wears off, patients complain more of the area being uncomfortable rather than painful as such.


Can I continue with normal activities following the port insertion?
It is advisable that you check with your health care professional. You can usually continue with most of your daily activities. Any most active pursuits (golf, swimming, weightlifting) usually be  resumed about 2 weeks after your port insertion. 


Can I shower with my chemo port?

Once your incision heals you can shower (or swim). There is no need to use a dressing once your incision has healed. However, while you are still recovering and have a dressing in place it is advisable to ensure that it is kept as dry as possible (and cover the entire with cling film while showering). 


Will it be painful to have the needle inserted for my treatments?

There is local anaesthetic cream (EMLA) you can apply before treatments that helps with the needle stick.

 
Support Groups in South Africa
Real Patient Testimonial
“ 'The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes' – shock!   'I suggest you close your psychological practice for a year' – double shock!   'The treatment plan …. ' – triple shock!!  

Am I in a dream state? Did I miss the meeting where the allopathic medical expertise met to discuss my treatment plan? Did the minister of complementary health, my close advisor, get an invitation?   As I observed my husband scribbling notes and asking relevant questions, my attention was focused on other matters…..  

“What a sick joke”, I told myself.   My heart raced, I felt nauseas, thoughts swirled in my head searching for a landing pad.   How much had this to do with the idea of ingesting chemo or simply the symptoms associated with my phobia of blood and needles, I could not tell.   …. the oncologist had my full attention – “the medical aid has approved a port…. “ At last, some words of comfort. I realized however that the time had come to “walk my talk”, to test my EMDR trauma counseling skills. The medical staff were so positive, compassionate, supportive and patient with me.  It wasn’t long before curiosity replaced skepticism as the staff observed the EMDR magic!   Needless to say the need for the port option never materialized due to my changed mindset and healthy veins!

With a touch of assertiveness and compromise, a “both/and” allopathic/complementary treatment plan was agreed upon.   I am so grateful for the love and support received from family, friends, colleagues and medical staff which I know contributed hugely to my recovery, notwithstanding the wisdom of my own amazing body!  4 years later, I exude health and vitality far beyond the average 63- year-old!      

I really believe that life happens “for” us and not “to” us, and I am truly grateful for the many gifts that the cancer journey afforded me.  The break from work facilitated the awareness of how much my ego had been based on the role, success and reputation of my profession, on doing and performing.   My circumstances brought about humility. I needed to focus on my needs, to ask for and receive help graciously.   Renewed commitment to mindfulness and the present moment, assisted me to chunk the process and to negotiate each challenge as it emerged.   A reminder of my mortality shifted my focus on the spirit within the body, and brought about comfort with death, which ironically fed my zest for life!  

My greatest challenge was adapting to life after the cancer journey, rediscovering and remembering my essence, finding a way to express my truth and joy, learning to “be”.   This is a lonely journey when the support system is fatigued, unaware of the period of transformation that follows, and is no longer there.   Helping others to “start over” post the cancer ordeal has been my greatest support during this period of transition.  From a professional point of view I fall back on the tools and insights I gained from my cancer journey as I negotiate and help others to navigate the Covid pandemic."
Gail Williams, Clinical Psychologist,
Sandton, Johannesburg – Breast Cancer Survivor
 
 

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