You have been scheduled to have your port removed in the Interventional Radiology (IR) Department at UW Hospital and Clinics. This office is located at 600 Highland Ave., Madison WI. This handout explains some common questions patients have about the procedure.
Please follow all instructions to avoid having your procedure postponed.
How do I prepare for the port removal procedure?
A Nurse from the Interventional Radiology Department will call you to review this information with you. Please tell the nurse if you take blood thinners, are allergic to anything, or are pregnant.
Do not eat anything for 6 hours before the port insertion. You may have clear liquids such as clear juices or black coffee up until 4 hours before the insertion.
In general, you may take your normal morning medicines with a sip of water.
You will only need to take off your clothes from the waist up. Wear comfortable bottom clothing and a top that is easy to take off.
You must have someone drive you home after the procedure. Due to sedation for the procedure, you should not drive or make important personal or business decisions until the next day.
Once you have checked into the G3/3 waiting area a nurse will walk you back to the radiology prep hold area for a brief workup.
The Work-Up Will Include These Steps:
Questions will be asked about your health history.
Getting baseline vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, etc.).
Placement of an IV. This will be used for blood draws, fluids, pain medicine, or sedation as needed.
The doctor will discuss the procedure with you. You will receive a consent form to sign, if you agree.
How is the port removed?
Once in the IR procedure room:
A nurse will check your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. You will be given medicines to help you relax and help with any pain.
Your skin will be prepared with sterile soap. A sterile drape will be placed over your body. The drape is made into a tent so that it does not lie on your face. Cool air will flow under the drape through a piece of tubing. There is a clear plastic portion of the drape. It allows you to talk with the nurse in the room.
The doctor will numb the site with lidocaine and make a small incision near the port. Then the port and tubing will be removed. All of this is done under the guidance of fluoroscopy (real time x-ray seen on a TV screen). Once the port has been removed the port pocket will be closed with sutures and sterile surgical glue. Steri-Strips may also be used.
Before you leave the room, the nurse will place a dressing on the site.
After the Procedure
You will be transferred back to the prep and recovery room. The nurse will check your port site, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing.
You will recover for about 2 hours.
Plan to stay for at least 4-6 hours.
You will be discharged when it is safe for you to leave. Your discharge instructions will be reviewed with you.
You may need to return to the clinic in 7-10 days to have your site checked.
Site Care at Home
You may shower with the site covered. Avoid soaking the incision in water (no tub baths or swimming until healed).
Do not do activities that pull on the incision. You will most likely have dissolvable sutures and surgical glue. You may also have a few Steri-Strips over them. Do not pull the Steri-Strips off. They will fall off by themselves. Do not pull glue off if it becomes loose. Clip the loose glue with scissors.
Wear loose fitting clothing for a few days.
Plan for rest, but also move around the house as much as you can. You can resume your normal routine when you feel ready.
Do not drive while you are taking narcotic pain pills.
Do not do heavy lifting or strenuous upper body movement for 1 week.
It is normal to have small areas of bruising.
Check your incision daily for signs and symptoms of infection. Signs include: Increased redness or swelling, red or hot incision, foul smelling drainage, or a fever over 100° F.
When to Call the Doctor
Fever over 100° F for 2 readings taken 4 hours apart
More redness at incision site
Bleeding or pus from incision
Increase in pain
If you have any questions or concerns once you are at home, please call the number below:
(608) 263-9729 Option 3
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
After hours, weekends, and holidays, call (608) 262-2122 this number will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Interventional Radiologist on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call: 1-800-323-8942.
If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.