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Question about port and blood clot? Question about port and blood clot?

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Unread 11-04-2003, 08:28 PM
Question about port and blood clot?

I was wondering if anyone had heard of people getting a blood clot where their port is installed? My mom has been having headaches, neckaches and started getting a puffy face, arm and shoulder. Her oncologist ordered a catscan and found nothing. Said maybe it was an allergic reaction to something (even though they haven't changed her chemo routine in many months).

Today when she was having her finger stick, one of the nurses said that it might be a blood clot. The nurse had my mom go get an x-ray and they found a blood clot! Now they need to decide whether the should do an angioplasty (they say that only take about 15 minutes) or do surgery on her port.

Is this unusual? And should I calm down that her nurses found this and not her oncologist? It just doesn't sound right to me.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 11-05-2003, 12:04 AM
Question about port and blood clot?


Clots like this do happen; my DD had one with her central line when she was a baby in the NICU. We try to do ultrasounds to look at them, but they are not all that easy to identify sometimes. Often, all they have to do is to instill a so-called "clot-busting" drug to dissolve the clot, but if that doesn't work, they may need to find a new spot for that port.

Your mom's symptoms are classic for this type of problem, but then I'm possibly more attuned to it as scanning these is part of my work practice.

Hope they're able to open that port right back up again!

Unread 11-05-2003, 07:03 AM
Ports and Clots

It is possible indeed to have clots in and around ports. Was your mother given Coumadin when she had her port put in? I was and still am on it, just 1 mg a day. I have never had a blood clot from it. There is also something called a fibrin sheath that can grow around the port and make it so it doesn't return blood. For that they can inject a medicine and wait and hope it breaks it--in my case it took four tries but that worked and now it returns well. Often I think the nurses who deal with the common things daily are more attuned to things than the doctor--they see it and deal with it. Here's hoping for success for your mom in opening it.
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Unread 11-05-2003, 08:31 AM
Question about port and blood clot?

The funny thing is that the port has been actually working fine (other than the fact that for several months they haven't been able to take blood). But she is on a fanny pack for two weeks straight right into the port.

No one knew anything was wrong until my mom's face started getting puffy and her arm swelled up. She also started having headaches and shoulder aches, but no one connected the symptoms. She was scheduled to see an allergist today, but luckily they found the problem yesterday at a finger stick for her blood counts.

Yes, she has been on Coumadin since having the port installed (early February).

Thanks for your posts. It sounds like this isn't that uncommon. We have just had a few concerns about her oncologist, who seems very absent minded and can't remember if she's had certain tests or not. Just a bad gut feeling about the doc, you know? So now knowing that she couldn't find (and didn't suspect) a blood clot that a nurse mentioned as a possibility right away.

And I think you are right too about how the nurses know their patients sometimes better than the docs. They've seen my mom several times a week for the last 8 months, so they can probably more easily recognize things due to the volume of people.

As always, thanks for your posts here. I don' t know what I would do right now without this site.
Unread 11-12-2003, 08:02 PM
Update on port

Just wanted to post on update on my mom's port situation. She was told today that they are going to remove her port and catheter on the 20th of this month. Apparently there is a severe narrowing of the artery leading into the catheter and since this is a main artery that also leads to the heart, they want that out.

I'm not someone to pray, but was hoping that if anyone had any extra good luck, to maybe send it my wonderful 75-year-old mom's way. She's always been my best friend. She's my inspiration.

Unread 11-13-2003, 12:54 AM
Question about port and blood clot?

(((Janet))): I've wondered how your mom was doing. Sorry to hear that the port needs to be changed, but it's not the first time I've seen that happen!

They're usually put into one of the big veins that drains blood into the heart, where it then goes to the lungs to get oxygen. This can get narrowed for a number of reasons, but usually it's scar tissue from the port itself. My DD had one when she was a baby, and there is a residual narrowing of her large vein, called the "SVC," as a result.

It's usually a simple surgery to remove it and put in a new one, but I'm so sorry that your mom has to go through it -- she's already had to deal with so much! You're lucky to have such a wonderful relationship with her.

and ers for a quick, uncomplicated recovery!


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