As I reported last week, my Mediport was removed without incident. The Steri Strips haven’t come off yet but everything’s been going well, with virtually no soreness or discomfort. The bruising is gone and so is the irritation caused by the waterproof Tegaderm (or something like it) dressing. That adhesive sticks like superglue and really tears up my skin. My oncologist’s nurse knows not to use it on me, but I didn’t think to mention it to anyone last week, so there it was. As careful as I was removing it — by the book as best I could — I still ended up with a 4-inch-long blistered welt along its bottom edge. Took it about a week to heal, and it stung more than the incision.
What I wanted to mention, however, is the catheter that ran from the Mediport injection site up to my collarbone and into a vein in my neck. The entire time the port was in place, about 9 months, I could see the catheter on the side of my neck, just under the skin, ending at a tiny scar at the base of my neck where the surgeon had accessed the vein to place the catheter.
Anyway, a few days after the port was removed, I noticed what looked like the catheter still in place in my neck. I worried about it for a few days, thinking surely if there had been a problem, someone would have told me. That catheter was supposed to have been taken out along with the port.
Finally I did the obvious thing and called the medical center to ask about it. As it happened, the NP who’d removed the port was there the day I called and was able to reassure me. Yes, the catheter was out. What I was seeing and feeling, that looked (and felt) exactly like the catheter, was in fact just scar tissue that had formed around the catheter. In time it should disappear. Or it might not.
But most definitely, she told me, the catheter was out. Otherwise that bit of plastic (or whatever it’s made of) at some point would have worked loose and gone directly into my heart.
Just thought I’d mention this, in case someone else has a similar concern about ports, catheters, etc. Harmless scar tissue can look and feel exactly like a catheter.