Glossary Entry: Chemotherapy Port


Definition: A chemotherapy port, also known as a port-a-cath, is a small medical device implanted beneath the skin that provides easy access for administering chemotherapy drugs and other medications. It consists of a catheter attached to a port, which is surgically placed into a large vein, usually in the chest.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Different variations of chemotherapy ports include single or double lumen ports, which may impact the number of medications that can be administered simultaneously.


Common Uses: Chemotherapy ports are commonly used for patients undergoing long-term chemotherapy treatment, as well as for frequent blood draws and medication administration.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion and placement of a chemotherapy port involve a minor surgical procedure, typically performed under local anesthesia. The surgeon creates a small incision to implant the port and catheter, ensuring proper positioning within the vein.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications of chemotherapy ports include infection, blood clots, and catheter dislodgement. Regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to minimize these risks.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the chemotherapy port include regular flushing with heparin or saline, as well as protection from injury or trauma to the port site.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Central venous catheters, PICC lines, and needleless connectors are related devices commonly used in conjunction with chemotherapy ports.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in chemotherapy port technology include the development of antimicrobial catheter materials and improved port flushing techniques to reduce infection risk.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Regulatory considerations for chemotherapy ports include proper training for healthcare providers on insertion and maintenance protocols, as well as adherence to infection control guidelines to ensure patient safety.