A central venous port is an IV (intravenous) catheter system placed under the skin. Patients who have frequent chemotherapy or blood draws may benefit from a central venous port placement.

During a central venous port placement, the catheter is threaded into one of the large central veins in the chest emptying into the heart. The right internal jugular vein is used most often.

There are two placement parts: a port and a catheter.

  • Port - The port is a small reservoir with a silicone septum that can be pierced with a needle. The silicone is self-sealing and can be punctured hundreds of times, increasing placement longevity.
  • Catheter - The catheter portion is the plastic IV tubing that attaches to the port.

Both parts are inside the body, with the port directly under the skin. It will feel like a small bump about the size of a quarter under the skin.

How do I prepare for my central venous port placement?

Please read how to prepare for our interventional radiology procedures.

What should I expect during my central venous port placement?

We will bring you into the procedure room and connect you to equipment that monitors and records your vital signs. Medical sedation may be given if you have been medically cleared.

Using antiseptic solution, we clean the upper chest and neck and cover with sterile drapes.

Next, the vascular surgeon uses a portable ultrasound machine to locate where the port will be placed. The vascular surgeon numbs an area near the base of your neck and your upper chest before making two small incisions in those areas.

A tunnel is formed under the skin between the two openings. The catheter passes through this tunnel, threading into the vein. The doctor makes a pocket under the skin where the port is placed. Both openings will be closed with sutures, sealed with medical glue and covered with bandages.

What should I expect after the central venous port placement is placed?

Immediately following port placement, we evaluate the positioning. The vascular surgeon will inject fluid through the catheter using X-ray to confirm correct positioning.