Your port will be put in at the hospital by a specialist nurse or doctor. It's usually done in the operating theatre or an area called the vascular radiology unit. You will usually have a local anaesthetic to numb the area. A general anaesthetic is sometimes used. You may like to discuss the position of the port with your doctor, before it’s put in.
A small needle will be put into a vein in your arm or hand and you'll have medicine to help you relax. Your nurse or doctor will inject a local anaesthetic into your skin to numb a couple of small areas on your chest and neck. You might feel some pressure on your chest (or arm) during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
You'll have two small cuts (incisions) made in your skin. If the port is put into a vein in your chest, it will be placed in an incision on your upper chest. If the port is put into a vein in your arm, it will be placed in an incision on the inner side of your arm. The incision will be about 3–4cm (1–1.5in) long. There will be a smaller incision above this, usually less than 1–2cm (0.5–1in) long.
The port will be placed under the skin. The tube attached to the port will be tunnelled under your skin to the smaller incision where it will be put into a vein in your chest. The incisions are then stitched.
You'll have a chest x-ray to make sure the port is in the right place.
You may have a small dressing to cover the wounds for a day or so after the procedure. The nursing team will teach you how to look after this.
You may feel a bit sore and bruised for a few days after the port is put in. You can ask your doctor or nurse which painkillers you should take to help with this.
Immediately after the port has been put in, and for a few days after, check for any redness, swelling, bleeding, bruising, pain or heat around the wounds. Let your hospital doctor know straight away if you have any of these. You could have an infection which may need to be treated.
If the stitches are not dissolvable, they will be removed after about 7–10 days when the wound heals.