Port For Chemotherapy After Colon Cancer

During my second operation for reattachment of the colon to the rectum, the surgeon also implanted a port to be used for introduction of the chemicals associated with chemotherapy.  The device consists of a wafer that seems to be about the size of three dimes stacked together on a quarter with a tail of several inches.  Here is a diagram of typical ports.  While earlier ports had metal parts, mine is entirely plastic.

The port is implanted in the upper chest (mine was on the left side) in a little "pita pocket".  The "tail" is actually a catheter that is threaded through minor vessels into the superior vena cava, a large vein that feeds directly into the heart.  This diagram shows where the port is implanted.  The picture was taken soon after the operation.  Stitches and yellow sterile wash are still present.  The heart diagram shows the superior vena cava.  The end of the catheter would be just about where the label is on the diagram.


In use, a needle is inserted into the port and affixed with a clever plastic transom and, of course, quantities of the ever popular adhesive tape.  The issue of body hair vs. adhesive quickly becomes a non-problem as the hairs are systematically removed by the roots.  This is a diagram of the port in use.  The diagram does not include the transom which protects the portion of the needle just outside of the skin and its connection to the IV tube.