The 'Port-a-Cath- is a device that is implanted under the skin , usually in the chest area and is used primarily for the administration of intravenous medication , such as chemo or serum therapy.. It consists of a reservoir or port, a catheter and a connector, and its implantation is advised in those patients who require intravenous treatments for long periods of time.
To implant a 'Port-a-Cath', the catheter is inserted into a central vein and the reservoir or chamber is subcutaneous in the chest area. It is for this reason, and that it is implanted completely inside the body, which must be performed in the operating room, by local anesthesia in an intervention that is estimated to last between 35 and 40 minutes.
With a percutaneous puncture or a venous dissection the implantation procedure of the 'Port-a-Cath' is initiated. Echo guided puncture in cases of subclavian vein is another good option, since it allows to avoid puncture-related complications practically with an effectiveness of 100%. Once the vein has been punctured, the catheter is passed and we perform an intraoperative chest radiograph to confirm the correct location of the tip and path of the same.. Finally, with a small pectoral cut, the catheter and reservoir are connected to place the device under the skin.
Advantages and risks
A 'Port-a-Cath' device is not for life. Once the treatment is finished it can be removed and while it is implanted in the body, the patient can lead a completely normal life. Its advantage is mainly comfort , as it facilitates punctures, prevents discomfort and complications.
On the other hand, its risks have to do with the appearance of bruises, infections or various injuries. These complications can be avoided through echo guided puncture and antibiotic prophylaxis .