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Healthcare: Respiratory & Lung Care (Pulmonology)

Long-Term Access Port Placement

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Scott Holmes
Central venous access. Credit Scott Holmes
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A venous access port placement procedure will allow for easier administration of chemotherapy and blood collection. In most cases, esophageal cancer is diagnosed at a stage in which it can be treated with chemotherapy (even if the patient undergoes an esophagectomy).

Chemotherapy can be harsh on the veins of the arms and hands, and it’s inconvenient and uncomfortable to have a needle inserted into your veins anytime your oncologists give you chemotherapy or need to draw blood for tests. If we recommend that you receive chemotherapy, we will use a venous access port, also known simply as a "port."

The port looks like a small button about the size of a nickel and will be placed just below your skin. The port will be connected to an IV tube that is advanced into one of the veins that empties blood directly into your heart. Anytime you need blood tests or chemotherapy, your nurse can put the needle into the port rather than directly into a vein in your arm or hand.