I've had my portacath for just over a year.
I'm a colon cancer patient with liver metastase and in for a long haul.
I was sent by my oncologist to have the implant. It was not a big deal, local anaesthetic, one hour procedure. I was asked beforehand which side I wanted it on, and thinking of the shoulder bag I carry on the left, I opted for the right side.
The surgeon with whom I chattered throughout the procedure was surprised aboyut my knowledge. I told him I'd read up on it on the net. His response was " you read really frightening things on the net, seeing you read English ( I live in Israel), have the manufactures hand book to get the real facts".
Whilst under observation, prior to discharge I read the booklet, and then I got worried.
I realised I'd picked the wrong side.
As the permanent catheter passes between the top rib and the collar bone, that is the weak point as physical activity can grind the catheter either severing it or squashing it flat and blocking the flow.
You mustn't sleep on the side it is on.
Being right handed and active, I'm now limited in my activities. I also had to get used to sleeping on my left side. I had to swap my side of the bed for my husband's so we could carry on with our'spoon' position which was a big 'habit break'.
These inconvieniences aside, I am very happy to have it. It is pitful to watch patients without it, whose veins have collapsed, going through the ordeal of findinng a vein.
Once treatment is started you have to have a couple of months break before you can have an implant, so it's best to ask for it at the ouitset.
If you go into remission, you just have to have it flushed once a month to keep it open. By us they will not remove it less than two years of remission.