Pictures of Cody with his Family & Friends

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another Surgery..... this time for a Port.

Monday August 15th Cody went into surgery again. This time it was to have a Power Port placed. Luckily they were able to have the Port placed in Winnemucca so they didn't have to travel. Below is a picture of a Power Port.

The last trip to Salt Lake City for his chemo infusion they had used a regular IV to give him his chemo since his central line was removed due to an infection. As many of you know chemo is a harsh poison which is why they use central lines or ports to infuse the chemo. It can potentially cause some damage to the veins. Especially the smaller ones. Chemo is sometimes given in a regular IV but it isn't as common. They put the IV in Cody's hand and almost immediately his entire hand started turning purple and was very painful. I don't want to criticize. I'm not a nurse and don't claim to know more than but I worked in the medical field for 6 years, 2 of which were spend in an Ambulatory Infusion Center and even I know you should not give chemo in the tiny veins in the hand, usually they give it in the larger veins in the middle of your arm (the nice big fat ones). I know that they like to start low and work their way up when trying to find a vein but chemo is different and they should never have attempted to put it in his hand. Lesson learned the hard way I guess. It has now been a month since that last infusion and Cody still has pain in his hand. The first couple weeks the pain was really bad he couldn't even use it. Good thing it was his left hand. Hopefully there wasn't any permanent damage done to his veins but there may have been. This is the reason they decided to have a port placed. It was not worth it to risk damaging his arm again.

A little information about a Power Port for those interested:

A Power Port is a small device inserted on the chest or arm just under the skin. It has a catheter or tube that is placed inside one of the large central veins. This allows the chemo to be given directly into the bloodstream. When they need to access the port a needle is inserted into the "septum" of the power port. This saves Cody from having to get stuck in the arm or any other vein for blood draws, scans, chemo, etc. They usually have a hard time finding a good vein and he ends up getting stuck several times before they can get the IV in. Below is a picture of the port being accessed.

Ports usually last longer than central lines and the risk of infection is considerably less. There isn't the same maintenance as the central line, i.e. weekly dressing changes, daily flushing of the lines, etc. The port needs to be flushed once a month which works out perfectly because he only needs the IV infusion once a month. Also, with the port everything is under the skin so he doesn't have lines hanging out of his chest this allows him the freedom to do so many things he was not able to do before.


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