About intravenous ports

In the 21st century it is not difficult to determine what a vascular access port is. By a ‘vascular port’ I mean essentially a set of two interconnected elements: a port (similar to an inverted thimble) and a catheter, one end of which is connected to the port while the other is located in the superior vena cava, near its connection to the right atrium.

Just Google ‘venous access device, vascular port’ to find all the information you require. If you wish to see what the implantation of a vascular port looks like, search for the phrase ’port implantation’ on YouTube to get see a selection of short videos. In watching them, however, you need to bear in mind that the different doctors may be demonstrating methods that vary in their details. Please note that the value of each method can vary significantly, and without correct preparation, it is difficult to judge them sufficiently well.

Therefore, this website gives information regarding your stay at the ATTIS Centre hospital for port implantation.

In most cases, patients are referred for a port implantation procedure by an oncologist. This is understandable, as it is the oncologist who determines the indications to start chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is often initiated with the use of the peripheral veins of the forearms. The rest is decided at a later stage. This often results in damage to the peripheral veins, and the port needs to be implanted anyway. Regardless of the complications that may occur during implantation and use, it can be seen that it is rational to automatically refer a patient qualified for chemotherapy for a venous access device implantation procedure.

This digression serves to show that, despite the obvious benefits of a certain course of action, the medical community is not always convinced that it should be followed. Unfortunately, the consequence of such an approach is that in Poland only 11% of patients qualified for chemotherapy have ports implanted. Or perhaps it is better to say that the vast majority of patients, 89%, through no fault of their own, cannot benefit from an intravenous port during an aggressive treatment, or to figure out what the reason for such a state of affairs and how it could be changed. The data comes from the National Health Fund, 2017. The European Society for Medical Oncology has long been recommending that any patient who starts such treatment should have a vascular port implanted. The article is available at http://wyborcza.pl/TylkoZdrowie/7,137474,24019498,jest-sposob-na-chemioterapie-bez-cierpienia-ale-korzystaja.html.

We must come to terms with the fact that any procedure may be associated with complications. Not only in oncology, but generally in life too. Let us take chemotherapy as an example – it is often accompanied by side effects and sometimes even complications. But would an oncologist just reject it, because complications can occur? Of course not, as the expected benefits are incomparably more important for the patient than temporary complications.

My colleagues, with whom I have the pleasure of working, are well aware of the advantages and disadvantages of ports, but they have no doubts that they are beneficial for the patient.

Your attitude is equally important – understanding that you have the right to have the port implanted, knowing that it is beneficial for you, and having this right acted upon.