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Chest Port Insertion

Chest port insertion is a minimally invasive procedure during which an interventional radiologist places a device underneath the skin of the chest wall that allows your cancer care team easy access to veins during future in and outpatient encounters such as the infusion of chemotherapy, liquid antibiotics, IV fluids and drawing blood for lab work.

The small device is made up of a thin tube (catheter), and a round reservoir made of plastic and/or metal.

What to Expect

  • This is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that requires a local anesthetic and a minimal amount of sedation through an IV in the arm if needed.
  • A small incision is made on the chest wall just below the clavicle after the injection of some local anesthetic.
  • The port reservoir is placed in a small pocket under the skin at the incision site.
  • A small catheter is introduced into a vein at the base of the neck, similar to starting an IV.
  • The end of the catheter outside of the vein is tunneled under the skin from the neck to the port reservoir in the chest wall and is attached to the reservoir.
  • The incision is closed with some absorbable sutures that are under the skin. The sutures are not visible and do not need to be removed as they melt away in a few weeks.

What to Expect after Chest Port Insertion

  • There is a 30 minute recovery period after the procedure, after which you can return home.
  • There will be some restriction of physical activity on the side of the chest port placement for 1-2 weeks post-procedure or until your incision heals.
  • The port can stay in for months or years at a time, and can be removed at any time.

For More Information

For more information on chest port insertion, or to schedule an appointment with an interventional radiologist, please call 847.570.2160.