What Are MIIPs? / Port or Portacath
What is a port?
A port (or portacath) is a small device that provides long-term access to a patient’s vein to give them medicines or draw blood.
The port sits under the skin below the collarbone or, less commonly, in the upper arm.
What are the parts of a port?
- small metal or plastic well
- the rubbery roof on the well is made to be punctured with a special needle
- the well is connected to a thin plastic tube, the tube is tunneled under the skin and ends in a big vein leading to the heart
What are the advantages of a port over an IV or other central line?
A port allows a patient to avoid having to get stuck in the arm every time they need medicine or a blood draw. Also, some medicines are too strong for the small veins so they need to be given into the big veins near the heart.
Who places ports?
In the past, ports were placed by a surgeon using anesthesia. Nowadays,
most ports are placed by an Interventional Radiologist (IR) in a safe minimally
invasive, image-guided procedure (MIIP).
How does the IR doctor place a port?
Is port placement a safe procedure?
This MIIP is safe for 2 main reasons:
This MIIP usually takes an hour or less. Most patients can have their port placed as an outpatient, meaning they go home the same day.
Who could benefit from a port?