{Previous post IV Port Placement}

Picture of venous access port

In October I got an IV port placed in my upper right chest. IV ports are often placed for long-term intravenous therapies, such as chemotherapy or in my case weekly lidocaine. Agreeing to a port placement was a difficult decision for me, one where pros and cons list came into play.


  • Less needle pokes
  • Decreased risk of crps spreading
  • Smaller risk of infection after the healing period
  • Faster blood draws and infusions


  • Scar
  • Surgical procedure to place port

While this was quite the predicament, both the surgical procedure to place the port and the needle pokes from not placing the port could spread crps. Both are unlikely, but so is crps in the average population.

After much discussion with my husband, we decided to move forward with the port placement as it is not an invasive surgery and we were assured had less risk than being poked with needles 3-4 times every week (around 150-200 times a year).

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Ports are accessed for IVs and blood draws completely different than the usual locate-a-vein-and-poke. First off, special sterile precautions are taken as the IV port directly accesses the patient’s heart. Specific needles are used called huber needles. These needles are at a 90 degree angle and are specially designed to pierce the silicon of the port without leaving a puncture hole behind after removal.

PowerPort insertion

I was able to use my IV port for a total of two times due to complications during the healing process. After my first IV port access I contracted cellulitis (bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin) above and around my port. ¬†One HUGE lesson I learned is YOU and anyone accessing your IV port NEED to wear a mask! For my first port access I was given the option to turn my face to the left away from my port or wear a mask when it was accessed. I elected to turn away. We can’t know for certain if this was the cause of my infection that spread and ultimately infected my IV port which caused the need for it to be removed. I’ve learned the importance of following doctor’s directions and of sterile precautions.

As I wait for the antibiotics to take full effect and await my next port placement¬†I am determined to wear a mask when my next IV port is accessed, and kindly request my nurse to wear sterile gloves, mask, and recently my surgeon suggested I ask for sterile gowns to be worn as well. While my first port experience did not go as planned, I’m not letting this bad experience deter me from getting another IV port placed once my infection clears. The few times I had my port accessed I found it efficient, worry and pain-free, and ultimately the best solution for me.

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