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Registered: 08/10/09
Posts: 218
Reply with quote  #1 
For those of you who have a port-a-cath, do you have a single or a double chambered port?  We have a surgical consult scheduled on June 1 for Lily, and one of the things that we need to decide is whether to have a single or a double port.  I was just wondering what the CVSA member experience has been in the regard.

Thanks in advance for your feedback, Darrin.

(Father of Lily, born in 2005, Treated for CVS Since Oct 2007)
(Husband of Michele, Father of son Kiel, born 2008)

Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 161
Reply with quote  #2 

This is something to speak with the surgeon about and get their input.  Generally, they recommend to get a single, unless there is a need for a double.  It depends on what Lily is getting through her port.  Hard question to answer without knowing that information.

A single chamber means a smaller chance for infection which is very important.  If you need to have multiple stuff going at once, and they can't be mixed in the same line, then that would make a double necessary.

Good luck!

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #3 
My 17 year old  son had a single Porto Cath  inserted in April. This was mainly so he can have TPN without having the hassle of inserting a long line, which was getting near impossible.  He had to use it this week and  the nurses told me that next time I should make sure that I ask for them to put a three way or octopus tap on the line and that means that he can have some medications as well as the TPN administered through the Port. They did stress that not all medications can be given at the same time but things like IV Paracetamol could be given with TPN. They told me that he probably will need the usual cannula as well as the Port because once  TPN starts it can't be stopped but this week he managed to avoid needng the usual cannula.
I was talked into getting the Porto Cath by the nurses and doctors who assured me that it would be much better than long lines and regular cannulas which are getting harder and harder to put in. However as this was the first time it was used since being put in it still took 4 goes to get a "gripper in" to the Porto Cath and I was really frustrated because I  assumed that it would be really simple just to connect it to the Port. No one told me that it can be a bit tricky at first  and I was wondering if I had made the right choice putting my son through the surgery to get the Porto Cath.  However,  now on reflection it was less traumatic for him  then searching for veins and failed attempts at putting a long line in. The nurses also assured me it gets easier to get the gripper in after it has been accessed more.
Also it takes a while to get the TPN up so regular meds like Ondensetron and Lorazepam (we are in the UK and I forget what the US names are) can get  given through the Port fairly soon after arrival at the hospital  before it is used solely for TPN. This along with IM Chlorpromazine really worked this week and avoided the need for another cannula as he then slept for 24 hours.
Hope this gives you some answers, or even more questions for your appointment.

Registered: 03/06/10
Posts: 55
Reply with quote  #4 
It shouldn't ever take 4 sticks to get the needle in the port. If anyone misses on the first two, ask for someone else to try the third stick (that applies to regular IVs too). It rarely takes me more than one to get the needle in a port. As far as single or double port talk to the surgeon and your family doc. If they will be using TPN and the other meds aren't compatible, then a double port may save getting another IV. If you never get TPN and the doctor thinks you won't in the future, and if all the meds are compatible in the same IV, then a single may be enough. Like everything else with CVS everyone is different and what is recommended for one person may not apply to another.

Registered: 01/04/10
Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #5 
I was just told this morning by my daughter's that a port would possibly be a good option for her. She's been hospitalized 4x in 8 months, and this last time it took at least 2 hours to finally get a vein for blood work/fluids. But, I thought he was saying the main point for the port would be to avoid the hospital, and the home health care RN would come to the house. Are ppl able to have their iv's at home with the port?

Mother of:
Megan, 13 with CVS, Caleb 9

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 2,643
Reply with quote  #6 
A port makes access easy, I love mine.  Whether you can have it accessed at home pretty much depends on how home health works in your area and how comfortable you are with possibly providing the care yourself.  Some people prefer to wait until a home health nurse can get to them to access the port and start the fluids.  That can take hours.  I have gone to my pcp and had the port accessed and fluids started by her nurse then monitored the fluids myself.  I have even accessed my own port and hooked up at home on my own. 

My nephew has chron's and my brother and sister-in-law take care of all of his tpn and IV needs at home.  It takes a little training but is nothing to be too scared about.

With perseverance, the snail made it on the ark.

Registered: 04/16/05
Posts: 3,033
Reply with quote  #7 
The question of a double lumen vs a single is a discussion best had by the primary physician and the surgeon.  Unless there is a regular need for TPN, then honestly I would think a single port. 
My port that I had placed in Sept is a single but needs revision because it has flipped.  One thing I would be sure to ask is that the surgeon be sure to anchor it in place with a suture or 2. 
There are different types of ports, mine is an infuse a port that is totally enclosed under the skin. 

I may have CVS but CVS is not me.
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