I’ve had my port in for 7 years and faithfully go in every 6 weeks and have it flushed. There has never been a problem until yesterday. They accessed it but could not get any blood return. A second nurse had me do several things without success. They felt perhaps there was a clot blocking it. They administered a clot busting med and I and I had to sit for an hour in my recliner. They came back in one hour later and still no return so indicated I’d need to sit another hour when one of the nurses saw some blood in the tubing. They put a needle into the line and blood started flowing. She said it looked like it did have some small clots in it and I queried if I should have it removed even though I had hoped to keep it a long time. She told me that was the wise thing to do so when I got home I called my ARNP at the Oncology clinic and she agreed it was probably time to remove it. She sent a referral to an outpatient Interventional Clinic to set up an appointment. I hope I can get it done within the next 6 weeks as that’s when my next flush is due as I don’t want or need another day like yesterday.
I can’t imagine having the same port 7 years. I’m on my second port in 3 months. My body produces fibrous tissues around the tubing. Every single week the nurses have tried sticking me 3 times to access my port. They try the heparin first. Have me expand my chest, cough, stand , lean over, etc. If I only need a blood draw that day, they then go to my arm for the blood. Meanwhile they try the clot dissolving drug (alteplase) every 14 days. It has always worked after about a 90 minute wait. The following week the heparin is all that is needed.
I had the port removed 5 days after the flush episode. She was able to use the scar from when it was inserted with just a local. She closed the inside with dissolvable sutures and closed the outside with surgical glue. I called the hospital to cancel my next flush appointment and she asked me if I wanted to reschedule it and I told her no I don’t have it any longer
I now am in possesion of the said port..