During cancer treatment or other health issues, your healthcare team may need frequent access to your veins to give you treatment. To avoid placement of a new IV line for each treatment, or repeated needle sticks to draw blood, your physician may recommend a port (such as a port-a-cath) or other long term IV access.
There are a few potential side effects and risks that should be discussed with your doctor. The risks may include infections, blockages or clots, and other problems that are less common, such as kinks under the skin or a shift in the position of the port.
If you experience any of the following issues, you should contact your physician immediately.
- You develop a fever
- Fluid is leaking from the port or area surrounding the port
- There is bleeding from the area of insertion
- The surrounding skin becomes swollen, red or warm to the touch
- It becomes difficult to get liquid into the port
- You develop uncharacteristic shortness of breath or dizziness
- The tube outside your body is longer that it was previously
The VCU Baird Vascular Institute provides convenient services if issues arise with your port. We understand how important it is to be close to home when you have health concerns. Our expert physicians specialize in placing port-a-caths, and other IV catheters and are also exceptional at diagnosing and remedying issues with previously placed ports.