Catheter Use

Should I use dressings to protect my catheter?

Only after the placement procedure, during the infusion, and until the incision heals, in usually 7 to 10 days (when stitches, if present, will likely be removed). Your doctor or nurse will be able to offer specific advice

Should I avoid physical activity?

There are no contraindications to practising a sport or starting a physical activity during treatment, but it is possible that you will feel less inclined to it, and that you will tire easier, and it is necessary to be careful not to overexert yourself.

Should I avoid any sleeping positions?

No. However, some patients feel discomfort when in a prone position (lying on their stomachs). Those who have undergone axillary emptying should avoid sleeping on the operated arm because of the risk of swelling and pain.

Should I avoid certain types of clothing?

In everyday life, there is no need. However, on the day of your catheter’s puncture, open collar shirts or T-shirts are recommended.

How long will I keep the catheter in?

The catheter will stay in place for the duration of the treatment; some doctors choose to leave the catheter in place for a longer time. Talk to your healthcare provider about your situation.

Will any post-chemotherapy treatment care be necessary?

Yes. Until your doctor approves the catheter’s removal, you should perform monthly maintenance, which consists in washing the catheter with a heparin solution.

Will my catheter be detected by any security system?

The catheter is made of plastic or metal, which usually goes undetected by most security systems or alarms. In case this happens, you should keep an identification card at hand, which can be provided by your physician.

How long does a fully implanted catheter last?

Between 1,000 and 2,000 punctures, depending on the gauge of the needles.

How will the catheter be removed?

After your doctor recommends the removal, you will undergo a surgical procedure similar to the implantation.

Can I sunbathe during treatment?

The use of sunscreen with an adequate protection factor (usually above 30fps) with frequent reapplications, in addition to the use of appropriate clothing that protects most of the body, is recommended before, during, and after treatment, whenever the patient is exposed to the sun.

Some treatments increase the skin’s sensitivity to sun damage, which makes these safety measures even more important.