You have been prescribed Soph-A-Port, an implantable access port, by your physician. This device will help you to lead a normal life during your treatment.
It will help shorten your hospital stay and will completely restore freedom of movement. The purpose of what follows is to answer the questions you might have about Soph-A-Port.
I - What is Soph-A-Port®?
Soph-A-Port is an implantable access port. Perfectly biocompatible, it consists of a polysulfone body with a silicone injection site called a septum.
As the port is slightly raised, it is easily identified under your skin, making injections quick and easy. The septum can be punctured hundreds of times with a special needle while keeping its properties.
Attached to the base of the port is a narrow, flexible tube, called a catheter. The catheter is usually inserted into a large blood vessel and delivers your therapy from the port septum into your bloodstream. Other body sites, such as the peritoneal cavity or spine may also be used for catheter placement.
According to your individual needs, your physician will decide which port model is appropriate for you.
II - How is Soph-A-Port® implanted?
The port is usually implanted in the thoracic area during a brief surgical procedure performed under anesthesia.
You may even have your port inserted in a day surgery or ambulatory surgery unit and go home shortly afterwards.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make one or two small incisions. The catheter is placed into the selected blood vessel or body site through one incision and then tunneled under the skin to the port. A pocket is formed under the skin to hold the port. The catheter is attached to the port and the port is then sewn in place securely within the pocket. An X-Ray will be performed to chech that the catheter is in proper position. A few stitches are required to close the pocket once the port is in place.
The incision will be dressed for the first few postoperative days. The skin overlying the port will be swollen and tender. This should go away as the incision heals. The port may be used immediately if necessary. During the few days after surgery, it is important that you avoid heavy exertion or strenuous activities.
III - What are the advantages of Soph-A-Port®?
The implantable access port Soph-A-Port will allow you to live a normal active life while receiving medical treatment.
When the port is in place, repeated access to the bloodstream or a specific body site to administer therapy can be accomplished with greater ease and less discomfort. In addition, the port requires minimal care.
For you, it means almost complete freedom of movement.
IV - What about my treatment with Soph-A-Port®?
Instead of seeking, sometimes with difficulty, a suitable vein or another site for your injections, your doctor (or nurse) will locate the Soph-A-Port under the skin by simple palpation.
Using a syringe with a special non-coring needle, he can simply go through the skin overlying the port and into the center of the septum with one quick needle prick.
The port can then be used for a variety of purposes: administration of intravenous fluids, blood products, medication, as well as withdrawal of blood for laboratory tests.
This method avoids puncture troubles, especially local reactions when punctures are repeated too often.
V - What precautions should I take with my Soph-A-Port®?
Between your courses of treatment, Soph-A-Port will allow you to live a normal active life.
If permitted by your doctor, you may bath, swim and exercise as you always have, without worrying about damaging the port. Just avoid direct trauma to the implant area.
Once the skin has healed after surgery, there is no need to cover your port site with a dressing when the port is not accessed with a needle. In between treatments, you will probably forget that you have an access port, since it will be visible only as a small bump beneath your skin.
Periodically, your port will need to be flushed to ensure that it remains in working order. Your doctor will let you know how often this needs to be done and who will perform the procedure.
Furthermore, you should examine your port site regularly. After the post operative period, you should notify your doctor if you notice any additional swelling, discoloration (bruising), redness, tenderness, pain, leakage at the incision site or the needle insertion site, or if you begin to have fever.
VI - When should I seek advice from my physician?
Watch out to the appearance of the signs described below, as these will require that you consult your physician rapidly.
digestive troubles: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
buccal signs: sudden appearance of mouth ulcers;
fever, severe shivering, appearance of pimples.
pain or redness of the scar or on top of Soph-A-Port.
VII - What about the identification card?
It is very important for people who have implanted port to always carry an identification card with pertinent medical information.
Prior to leaving the hospital, please have the physician who inserted your port, or one of the nursing staff, help you fill in the required information. Remember to have this card with you when you visit your doctor, so that information on your port will be immediately available.