Types of intravenous lines:
'Ports' - Portacath, Powerport
These lines are completely contained under the skin, with no tubes or valves outside the body. The port has a small chamber which is placed under the skin on the upper chest a few centimetres below the collar bone. A small tube is attached to the chamber, this passes under the skin up over the collar bone into a vein in the neck (internal jugular vein), then down into the chest within this vein. Ports are usually inserted under general anaesthetic or heavy sedation to keep the patient comfortable throughout.
To use the port, a fine need is passed through the skin into the chamber. Medicines can then be injected safely and also blood taken for blood tests.
Once the small incision for the port has healed, you can return to normal life in terms of showering, baths, swimming and sports.
Ports transform the experience of patient undergoing chemotherapy, taking away the stress and discomfort of repeated attempts to get access to a vein for each treatment. In addition, repeated access to the veins of the hands and arms makes the finding a good vein more and more difficult. Ports avoid all of this.