I’ve had a mediport for four years. They are generally just under the skin but they have a long catheter that runs in a vein. The x-ray is used so the surgeon can see the catheter as it is being inserted. The level of radiation is extremely low because the interventional radiologist has to be able to tolerate the procedure repeatedly over the course of a career. If you expect to be receiving chemo for any length of time you will come to appreciate the ease of use compared to an IV. Unfortunately most phlebotomists have not been trained to access your port so you will still get poked each time they need to draw blood.
Good luck and good life.
I’ve had mine for 5+years and it has come in handy for things. My Gastro Dr. was able to use it for my meds during my colonoscopy and I had it accessed by the Onc. clinic nurses and it was used for both of my carpal tunnel surgeries. Lab techs. don’t have the special needles needed to access them and don’t have the training needed either. On a couple of occasions I’ve had my blood draw through it by timing my port flush appointments with it. I used to be an X-ray Tech/Mammographer and know why the X-ray was done.
I just got my medi-port a month ago. When I was learning the details prior to the procedure, they said that the visibility of it will depend on the underlying structure. If you’re more muscled, it will be more pronounced. If you have more cushion (like me), it’s less visible. Mine sits right under the skin. It doesn’t stick out, but is easily felt.
They access it with an inch-long needle. I think that’s just the standard needle for ports. I was a little apprehensive the first time it was accessed, because they were going to push that needle directly into me! Of course, it was no big deal, but the first time made me a little nervous.
You’re right, lab techs usually don’t have the training or the equipment. But the 2 hospitals I go to for blood draws just send me to a different area to do it through the port. In one hospital, I go to the ambulatory clinic. In the other, I go through the ER. I called each of the hospitals ahead of time, to find out if they were able to accommodate my preference to use the port.
The other thing I’ve found is that I have to tell them (and show them the card that came with the procedure) that mine is a newer (I guess?) type that uses a saline lock, instead of a heparin lock. The benefit is no heparin is needed (obviously) & it doesn’t have to be flushed as often when it’s not in use.
Anyway, I know I’m late to this discussion, but I thought I’d share my (limited, so far) experiences for those who come after.
They need to be easily felt so they can tell unless you show them the card you got what type you have. I just go in every 6 weeks to my outpatient procedure area of the hospital (with an appointment so they have a room for me) and get it flushed. I plan on leaving it in for as long as I can, been 5 1/2 years now. I know a lady who had hers for 20+ years before she finally had it removed (no reason).
I had some tenderness for about a week after the procedure. But I haven’t had any problem since. Occasionally, it’ll get itchy, but my regular body lotion seems to help that. Sometimes, while showering or whatever, if I push up on my breast too vigorously, it will cause a little pain around the port. But overall, I’ve had no issues. I even had a mammogram 8 days after the procedure. It was a little uncomfortable, but nothing too bad.
I generally don’t sleep on my stomach, but had some discomfort the first week or so, when sleeping on my right side.