A chemoport or chemotherapy port is a type of implant placed under the skin of the patients undergoing intravenous chemotherapy treatment. It is a small device that enables easy access to the bloodstream. It is primarily used to transfer red blood cells and platelets. Besides, the chemoport can be used to insert chemotherapy drugs into the blood.
There are different types of chemoport that vary with the length and type of the treatment.
Implantable Venous Access Port
Also called Port-a-Cath or Medi-port (terminologies coined by American Cancer Society), the port is drum shaped and can be made of stainless steel, titanium or plastic. The venous access port is generally placed under the skin of the chest or the upper arm. The catheter attached with the port is directly connected with the central vein.
Long term chemotherapy treatment requires this kind of port, which is used by injecting a non-coring needle through the skin inside the port. A non-coring needle is a specially designed needle that is more resilient than ordinary needles.
Tunneled Central Venous Catheter
Also called Hickman or Broviac, the central venous catheter is placed in a central vein in the chest through surgery. The tubes of the catheter hang externally and the medicines are filled in the tubes. The catheter has multiple openings and is placed inside the body for several months.
The PICC line is a temporary port made of plastic. It is in the shape of a catheter and can be positioned for several weeks. Generally used for short infusions of chemotherapy, the plastic catheter is placed into one of thelarger veins of the arm. The right positioning of the port is confirmed by an X-ray (Fluroscopy).
This is a type of port used in intraperitoneal chemotherapy (the most advanced form of chemotherapy used to treat abdominal cancer). The port is in the form of a catheter called Tenckhoff catheter, which is positioned in the abdomen.