Port Insertion / Removal


Your physician has scheduled you for a port insertion or removal. This is a surgical procedure to provide / remove vascular access for your oncologist to administer chemotherapy. Understandably, you have questions about what to expect.


What is a port?
What should I do on the day of surgery?
What should I expect once I arrive at the surgical center?
What should I expect after the surgery?
When do I need to call the doctor?
Authorization and Payment
Important Numbers



What is a port?


A vascular access procedure (insertion of a port) is designed for patients who need intravenous (IV) access for a considerable time, longer than 7 to 10 days. A simple IV set-up is effective in the short term but is far from ideal when, for instance, a patient needs a course of chemotherapy, several weeks of IV antibiotic treatment, or long-term IV feeding. A vascular access catheter is a long, thin tube that is placed in a branch vein in the arm, the neck, or just beneath the collarbone. The tube then is threaded into a major vein in the chest. In many conditions, having this type of tube inserted provides a simple and painless means of drawing blood or delivering drugs, nutrients or both. In this way the patient is spared the discomfort and stress of repeated needle sticks.


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What should I do on the day of surgery?


Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure, unless otherwise instructed as part of the pre-assessment. You will need someone to take you home after the surgery. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may wish to bring a front-closure support or sport bra to wear home from the hospital.


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What should I expect once I arrive at the surgical center?


  • You will need to check in at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled procedure for preoperative assessment.

  • The procedure generally lasts forty-five minutes (insertion) or thirty minutes (removal).

  • The doctor will speak to the family after the procedure.

  • You will be in recovery for approximately one hour and will be able to leave after that if an overnight stay is not planned.


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What should I expect after the surgery?


  • Usually, you will have a waterproof plastic dressing over your incision.

  • Because you are wearing this plastic dressing, you will be able to take a shower on the day after surgery unless your physician specifically tells you otherwise.

  • Do not remove the dressing until you are directed. If this is an insertion of a port, the port will be covered with gauze and a dressing until the first chemotherapy treatment.

  • You might have a small amount of bleeding and swelling. This is normal.

  • The sutures are usually dissolvable underneath the skin, so that you will not have to have them removed.
  • Your physician will write a prescription for pain medication. Oftentimes, you will not need to take this medication and Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) will suffice and are allowable.

  • If you take just one prescription pain pill, you make take one, additional, regular-strength Tylenol.

  • Do not exceed this amount, as Tylenol is an ingredient in most prescription pain pills and can have severe consequences with over-dosage.

  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking prescription pain medicine.

  • Prescription pain medicines may alter your judgment.

  • You may resume normal activity the day after your surgery.

  • Do not do any aerobic or strength exercising for one week without consulting your physician.

  • Beware of any trauma to the surgical site for at least one week after the surgery.

  • You should call the office and schedule a post-op visit for approximately one week after your surgery.


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When do I need to call the doctor?


  • If you have a fever over 101.5 in the first week after surgery.

  • If you have blood that continues to leak from under your dressing.

  • In this event, hold tight pressure with a towel over the site until you reach the doctor.

  • If you have excessive nausea and / or vomiting.

  • If your wound becomes tight and excessively painful or if the area surrounding the port becomes red and / or excessively warm to the touch.


If at any time, you feel you have a life-threatening or urgent problem, either call 911, or proceed to an Emergency Room.


Authorization and Payment


We will call your insurance company to pre-certify the surgery. If there is a question of coverage, we will let you known as soon as possible. If you will not utilize insurance, we will provide you with an estimate of fees associated with the surgery, so that you may budget appropriately. Our billing department will work with you to discuss payment arrangements or questions about your benefits. As a reminder, you will most likely receive a series of bills associated with the surgery, as many providers will be involved with your care: the facility where the surgery takes place, our office, the radiologist, the pathologist, and the laboratory, etc.


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Important Numbers


Northside Hospital 404-851-8000
Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Center (AOSC) 404-252-3074
Aesthetica 404-303-7542
Breast Care Specialists 404-255-8086 *

*For an emergency after hours, you will receive instructions for reaching the doctor


BCS Surgery Scheduling 404-255-8086 ext. 204

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