Question about mediports...


Quick question for those more familiar than I am about the subject. Ran across a situation today where a patient who has been receiving chemo treatments through a mediport, is going to be scheduled to have it removed after the treatments are complete. This kinda struck me as odd. There haven't been any complications with the port. I always thought they just left them in, whether it's available should the need for future treatments arise, or just because it's really not hurting anything even if it's never accessed again.

I've had pts come through my ER with ports that haven't been accessed in years. Is it standard procedure to remove them now? And why the heck would someone do that?

Just curious...


6 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, general peds.

I think it would depend on what the port is being used for. If you have CF and may need to get antibiotics intermittently for the rest of your life, then they would leave it in. If you have a port for chemo, then why keep it after you're in remission and won't need chemo anymore? If you leave the port in, it needs to be flushed with heparin once a month to keep it patent. You wouldn't be able to use a port that hadn't been accessed in years. Personally, I had a port for chemo and then had it removed as soon as treatment was finished, but I disliked my port.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

Mediports still need to be flushed monthly, and are still as infection risk, even while not accessed. They can also be a vanity thing, with some people. I can see removing it if future treatments aren't likely to be necessary soon. Some cancers have a high survival/low relapse rate after just one round of chemo. Some people get them removed, some people get them left in. It's generally decided by doctor and patient discussion.

Has 20 years experience.

As others have said, if there are no more treatments scheduled, many people choose to have them removed after a few months. It can be a comfort issue or even a vanity issue, but there is also the point of having to endure the monthly heparin flushes. Also important to keep in mind: If the patient is in remission, the mediport can be an unwelcome reminder of their illness.

This topic is now closed to further replies.