Description of a Port

  • A port is a special IV (intravenous) line placed under the skin.
  • The port has metal or plastic sides, a rubber-like material on top and a tube coming from the side. The tube is placed into a large blood vessel in the chest, just before the heart. The port is stitched in place under the skin.
  • The port is placed during surgery in the operating room. Your child will be asleep and will not feel any pain. After the surgery you will notice a small incision where the port was placed.
  • The port can be used for medication, fluids and blood draws.
  • A special needle is used to access, or get in to, the port.
  • A numbing cream used on the skin before accessing the port may help ease any discomfort. Your doctor will need to order this cream and you will be told how to use it.
  • The port needs to be flushed at least once a month. The nurse at the hospital or clinic will flush the port, or arrangements can be made to have this done at home by a nurse.
  • There are single lumen and double lumen ports. A lumen is an opening. Double lumen ports are slightly larger and have two separate tubings that both go into the vein.