Porta-Catheter Removal

Porta-Catheter RemovalA Porta-Catheter is a device placed completely under the skin on either side of the chest. The port is a small, round piece a little larger than a soda bottle cap that is connected to a catheter that is guided into a large vein that empties into the heart. The port is placed just under the skin, so it can be easily accessed by healthcare providers through the skin to deliver IV fluids, drugs, or blood products. A porta-catheter may stay in place for weeks or months and helps avoid the need for repeated needles sticks and injury to small vessels.


A porta-catheter is most often removed when the oncologist or specialist administering therapies through the port determines it is no longer needed.

Pre-Op Evaluation and Prep:

Patients will discuss porta-catheter removal with the surgeon. This may occur in a consultation days before surgery but oftentimes takes place the day of the procedure due to patient convenience.

Routine blood work is usually not needed but may be ordered prior to surgery based on the patient's age and the presence of any existing medical problems.

You may be instructed to stop taking some medications before surgery. Make sure your surgeon knows all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including natural or nutritional supplements. For more information related to preparation for surgery click here.


Porta-Catheter removal may be performed under general anesthesia, sedation, or without sedation at all depending on patient health factors and preference. The surgeon will inject numbing medication in the area of the incision over the port. Then a small incision will be made over the port. The port is freed from any tissue and the entire device is removed at once. The skin will be sutured closed and covered with steri-strips and a gauze dressing or surgical glue.  The stitches are all under the skin, so nothing needs to be removed at a later date.


This varies from patient to patient and with the type of anesthesia received. Many patients return to desk type work the next day. You will probably not have any lifting restrictions and can return to most normal activities.

While recovery instructions may be tailored to individualize a plan of care based upon your specific needs, these instructions are common following porta-catheter removal:

  • If you have IV sedation or anesthesia, you will need to arrange for a ride home the day of your surgery and we recommend someone stay with you for the first 24 hours at home.
  • If you have IV sedation or anesthesia, we will want you to go home and rest after the procedure. Avoid making any other plans on the day of your surgery. Starting the following day, you can increase your activity as you feel up to it.
  • If you have IV sedation or anesthesia, avoid fried foods, milk products and citrus juices for around one day after your surgery. Suggestions for foods to eat include soup, sandwich, pasta, potatoes, toast, and applesauce.
  • The dressings applied to your surgical site will be specific to the location of your procedure. If surgical glue is used, there will be no dressings to remove. If bandages are applied, they can usually be removed at home in 24-48 hours. You will receive care instructions specific to your procedure.
  • You may shower within a day or two after your surgery, but will need to avoid soaking in a tub or pool for around 1 week.
  • You may be given a prescription for pain medication following your surgery. The recovery nurse will discuss a pain control plan following surgery specific to you and your needs including activities like ice applied over incisions and a medication regimen. Often times we will recommend taking Tylenol and Advil (same as Motrin, Ibuprofen) or Aleve in addition to the narcotic pain medication.
  • It is often suggested to start taking a stool softener twice daily the day following your procedure. You will want to continue this regimen as long as you are taking narcotic pain medications.

For additional information for after surgery preparation click here.

To Schedule an Appointment

To find out more about Porta-Catheter Removal services offered at CSA Surgical Center in Columbia, Missouri, please call Columbia Surgical Associates at 573-443-8773 and schedule an appointment.

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