The Port-a-Cath is a fully implantable catheter consisting of a flexible tube and a reservoir. It is a type of catheter with a lower risk of infection and longer duration.

Long-term central venous catheters are widely used during cancer treatment. The Port-a-Cath, or fully implantable catheter, is composed of a flexible tube (catheter) made of silicone or polyurethane and a reservoir (“port”) in a cylindrical or conical shape that is usually made of silicone and titanium. 

As the structure of the Port-a-Cath is not apparent (as it is implanted), this type of catheter has a lower risk of infection and longer duration than semi-implantable catheters. 

Port-a-Cath Applications

Cancer patients undergo several procedures that involve venipuncture, such as the collection of laboratory tests and the application of chemotherapeutic agents, other drugs and serum. Using a Port-a-Cath makes these procedures possible without the need to puncture new veins frequently.

Benefits of using Port-a-Cath in oncology 

The use of the catheter in oncology reduces the pain and anxiety that occur due to the high number of punctures or venous dissections necessary for the infusion of chemotherapy drugs. In addition, it offers more freedom and security for the patient to carry out their day-to-day activities. 

Other advantages are durability (up to 2,000 punctures), lower probability of infection and no need for dressings, preventing the appearance of phlebitis and necrosis due to drug extravasation.

How is it deployed

The fully implantable catheter is inserted into a larger vein (called a subclavian) through a simple surgical procedure performed by a trained surgeon under local anesthesia. The procedure can last between 30 to 60 minutes and the patient is released shortly afterwards.

The doctor implants the reservoir under the skin in the chest region. Soon after the procedure, the use through puncture through a specific needle for this purpose is already enabled. This procedure is usually performed by a nurse. It is considered safe, but, as with any procedure, there may be complications, such as obstruction by clots and migration or displacement of the catheter.

Or share the link
Link copied to your desktop.

Treatments for Cancer

Discover our series of content related to cancer treatments
Learn more