Implanted venous access ports (IVAP) are devices used to deliver blood and medications into larger veins for long periods. They have two main parts; the injection chamber within a solid case of plastic or titanium, which is covered by a thick membrane to seal itself after injection.
A narrow tube known as a catheter is attached to the injection chamber and placed into a large vein of the chest or neck. Implanted venous access ports allow frequent access to veins without needle injections. They can stay in place for weeks or months.
Uses of Venous Access Ports
The devices are often used for:
- Administering medications such as IV drugs, chemotherapy drugs, and antibiotics
- Administering fluids and nutritional compounds to patients (hyperalimentation)
- Transfusing blood and blood products
- Performing multiple blood draws for purposes of diagnostic testing
- Can be used in children with small and difficult veins
The Process of Insertion
A surgeon or surgical assistant performs the insertion procedure.
Venous access ports are placed below the skin. Two small incisions are made in the neck to insert the catheter into a vein (entry site) and on the chest or upper abdomen where the port chamber is placed underneath the skin.
The surgeon will then stitch and close the two incisions. When blood is drawn, or medication delivered, a tiny needle will be placed through the overlying skin into the port.
Flushing or hep locking (heparinized saline flushing) can be performed after delivering medication or drawing blood. Doctors do this by injecting saline solutions in the port to prevent it from blocking.
As soon as the patient completes treatment, a surgeon will remove the implanted venous port. The patient is put under a general anesthetic during the procedure.
Benefits of IVAP Insertions
- They help to avoid problems that result from administering strong medications through small veins using standard intravenous lines. Regular IV lines cause blood clots and irritation of the veins
- Central venous ports prevent inflammation and scarring from multiple incisions
- Central access devices provide comfort and reduce anxiety in people who receive frequent medication
At Texas Breast Care, we always listen to your concerns and help you make the best decisions regarding the use of IVAP insertions. Our priority is to make you comfortable while receiving treatment. Call 214.379.2700 to talk to us today.