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Port Care after Chemo Port Care after Chemo

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Unread 03-17-2003, 08:12 AM
Port Care after Chemo

My gyn/onc suggests I leave my port in place for at least a year. I prefer to keep it also. This may sound strange, but I feel that if I have it removed, I will need it.

The cancer center where I had my chemo suggests that I get my port flushed with heparin every month. I am on coumadin daily for past dvt's. So I feel I don't need heparin monthly, only every 3 months after my blood draws. Has anyone had their port remain patent with just every 3 month heparin? Thanks
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Unread 03-17-2003, 09:22 AM
Port Care after Chemo


Your best bet may be for your hematologist (or whoever is managing the Coumadin) speak with the oncologist.

Although the Coumadin should be protective enough, a port is more susceptible than the rest of the venous system to "clotting off". And the amounts of heparin used in a port flush aren't much -- certainly not enough to cause any systemic change in the overall clotting mechanisms.

You might also wish to ask about using saline for the flushes, but generally they like to keep a bit of heparin in the "system" so to speak. The best bet, though, is to speak with the hematologist and get their opinion -- and then take that to the oncology staff to work it out.

Good luck! A properly maintained port should last for quite some time, and I sympathize with your desire to "hang on" to it for a good while!

Unread 03-17-2003, 12:05 PM
Hi Ruth--I Have a Port Too

but mine is flushed with plain saline, every month. They insist on every month and they insist on saline. I have given up asking about having it taken out. I did when I last saw the Dr. and he gave me one of "those" looks like he thought I'd finally lost it. I think mine will be with me forever. I've never had a heparin flush on it. Interesting. Follow what your Dr. says. Wish I could get mine out. (sigh) Ellen
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Unread 03-17-2003, 05:55 PM
Port Care after Chemo

s Ruth

My port will be two years old this June. I finished chemo in October of 2001. My gyn onc feels it is bad luck to remove them.
I only get it flushed once every three months when my ca 125 is drawn. They use what is called heplok for the flush. Basically just saline with a minute amount of heparin. I have never had a problem with this schedule.

Unread 03-17-2003, 08:26 PM
Port Care after Chemo

Hi Ruth!

I had my port kept in for about six months after completing the second round of chemo. My Dr had wanted it to stay in longer "just in case" but my body had other ideas, I had alot of problems with inflamation with mine.

While I had it, I had to go in every month for a Heparin flush, sure don't miss that stuff.

I think Audrey's right on, have the Hematologist and Oncologist consult to make sure you are getting the correct care you need. I had to have my Hematologist, Rheumatologist and even the Primary all run everything by my Gyn Onc before I was given anything new so it wouldn't interfere with what he was doing.

I hope they'll be able to get it worked out so you won't have to go for both.



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