The time has come to say goodbye to my port and our love hate relationship

NadiNadi Member Posts: 558
Hi all. I am celebrating NED at the 2 yr mark. Now my onc says I can and should remove my port. I feel both happy and sad about this. I thought I had another 12 months with it but alas no. A small part of me sees it as a superstitious insurance policy in that I think while I have it my cancer won't come back. Another part of me is happy that I am finally moving on from being a cancer patient. Bottom line is I know it should come out and I will deal with those silly feelings about giving it up. In the mean time, for all those ladies who have had theirs removed, is there anything I need to be aware of? Was recovery when taking it out easier than when you had it put in?

Still plagued by neuropathy and the horrid hot flushes. Wish I could give those up instead.


  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,320
    Hey Nadi I was only thinking about you this week. I'm stuck with mine for a bit as the surgeon here has resigned so it looks like travelling either 500 or 300 kms depending on which hospital I choose. So annoyed as I am ready now. Sigh. I might ask my breast surgeon when down in Adelaide if i could have it out there. It's not the op but the pre op stuff which is the hassle as its 2 trips. 
  • KatyJoyKatyJoy Rowville victoriaMember Posts: 157
    I had mine out in July prior to starting the Pallas trial as they didn’t want me to have to have a break from the palbociclib to have it out and I’m on the drug for two years. Having it out was very quick. I remember my husband was shocked as I was only gone from the ward for about 15 mins and wide awake and ate and drank as soon as I returned to the ward. I went home 1 hour after that and felt fine. I don’t think I even had dissolvable  stitches, it looked like they just glued the incision back up. It was handy having it though, now I have to have blood tests the regular way again
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 558
    primek said:
    Hey Nadi I was only thinking about you this week. I'm stuck with mine for a bit as the surgeon here has resigned so it looks like travelling either 500 or 300 kms depending on which hospital I choose. So annoyed as I am ready now. Sigh. I might ask my breast surgeon when down in Adelaide if i could have it out there. It's not the op but the pre op stuff which is the hassle as its 2 trips. 
    Hey Kath, the travel is a bummer. It should be easy for a breast surgeon to get it out. Here's hoping.
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 558
    @KatyJoy Glad to hear it was pretty straight forward. I would love to go with glue rather than stitches.

  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,466
    Hi Nadi - nice to see you on the forum and yay to NED!  Take care and best wishes from Christine x
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,944

    @primek I had my port out under a local at the hospital here, just used a general surgeon (who actually let his minion do it). I still had to go into theatre but I had no sedation or general anaesthetic  so there was no pre-op appointment and I went home two hours later after a couple of rounds of obs and a cup of tea. I didn't want to have a line put in--that was the whole point of having the port, my veins are shite!

    I can't say it was a pleasant experience and may not be something that everyone would be comfortable with, but I've had to do a great many things I don't like in the last ten years. I can tolerate nasty stuff if I know it is only going to last for  half an hour or so. The main thing was convincing the surgeon I would be OK.

    Anyway, if you get stuck it might be worth considering. We can be tough old chickies when we have to be :) Marg xxx

  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 395
    I had mine out last Tuesday.
    In hospital with vascular surgeon who put it in, but only under heavy sedation apparently with a local anaesthetic. I didn't know any different from a regualr anaesthetic, but it was quick. Probably 1 1/2 hours from being wheeled to the theatre to sitting up having a tea and sandwiches. Same restrictions with food and water prior to surgery.
    A bit woozy for the rest of the day, no pain.
    it has been rather tender in the area for the last week, and some bruising. Two small incisions, no stitches. No swimming until healed.
    One thing I have noticed though is that I am healing a lot more slowly than I expect to.
    Not sure if that is still a result of treatment or because I am now on Femara and Palbociclib (Pallas trial) 
    One end of the larger incision is a red spot and sore.
    I am going to the GP today anyway, so I will get it checked.

    I did check with my Oncologist several times that I should not be needing it again.
    The vascular surgeon said that if I ever needed it again, he could just put another one in.
    Or course, I won't need one ever again!
    Anyway I am very pleased to no longer have to go and have it flushed out every four weeks.

    Psychologically it was a boost, it signified the end of treatment. Yay.

  • wendy_h67wendy_h67 Member Posts: 409
    Glad to hear you girls can now move on after having your port removed . Im still keeping mine as Im on continues I.V. Abraxane,  3 weeks on and 1 week off. I still think its the best thing since sliced bread. I'm just about to celebrate my first year of having my port inserted.  Any excuse for a celebration ! 
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,320
    The Dr who put mine in was a vascular surgeon. He refused put it in  under light sedation, hense my reluctance to have it removed in a hurry as I've already had 3 general anaesthetics. But as nobody else will touch them at my hospital I am looking at travelling to either Adelaide 500k or Mildura 300k. So presently I'll keep getting it flushed. Removing a port is simple but still has some risks. Our hospital is strict about it. Even to have my nipples done next year I have to go through the whole process again (and travel 500k). I doubt they could coordinate a vascular surgeon attending that as different teams. On I go. I'll sort it. Kath x
  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 395
    That is interesting @primek.
    mine was put in under general anaesthetic, but removed under sedation, by the vascular surgeon.
    Same anaethetist too.
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,135
    Hi there @Nadi I had triple neg last year no lymph nodes involved and scans all clear but was lucky enough to get my port out a month after I finished my chemo and I was glad to have it out as I had lost a lot of weight on chemo (10kg) and it stuck out like a second head lol had light sedation when I had it in and out and local anaesthetic and I recovered both times really well I healed quite ok but I was left with a bit of an ugly keloid scar which I have been putting silicone tape on and it’s helping a bit and only heard about that option recently and I believe I would of benefitted from it being used from the start so maybe ask about it when you get it out. The gp clinic where I work has it so it’s started to flatten out a bit now. If you live brisbane north side you can come and have an appointment and get some if you like?. Margie x
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,680
    Yayyyyyyyyyyy, Congratulations Nadine that is excellent news. FREEDOM!!!! Bit scary but I'm sure you'll get used to it quickly. How are you going to celebrate? Removal of port and 2 years NED - I can hear that particular door swinging shut behind you :)  Big hug. Xx Cath
  • UnicornkissesUnicornkisses Central CoastMember Posts: 395
    What is silicone tape @onemargie ?
    my scar is starting to granulate according to the GP, it is tender and lumpy.
    where would I get it from?
  • MKitty68MKitty68 Member Posts: 261
    i'm looking forward to having mine removed, but I was told i had to wait until after radiation. Only 9 more sessions to go! 
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,135
    Hi there @Unicornkisses I got it from work but if you go to the independence Australia medical supplies website and in the search bar put silicone tape you will find it mine is starting to work now but it should work a treat if yours is a new wound. One piece lasts ages and you can peel it off for showering or leave it on and put it back on several times before it stops sticking I get a couple weeks out of just the one piece. I tried to put in the link but cant work it out lol. It’s worth a try and pretty cheap to buy too. Margie xxx 
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