An implanted venous access port is a device placed under your skin to give you medicines and treatments. The port is a small container that is normally placed in your upper chest. A port can also be placed in your arm or abdomen (stomach area). The port container is attached to a catheter (tube) that enters a large vein (blood vessel). You may need a port to receive long-term intravenous (IV) medicines or treatments. These include getting chemotherapy medicine to treat cancer, antibiotic (germ killing) medicine, or total parenteral nutrition (liquid food). A port can also be used to take blood samples for testing.
The port is made of plastic or metal with a self-sealing cover over the top. The device may have one or two ports, called a single lumen (tube) or a double lumen port. You may get a double lumen port if you need medicines or treatments that cannot be given together. To give medicines or treatments, a non-coring needle is put through your skin and into the port. Non-coring needles do not cause holes when entering or exiting a port. Medicines and treatments can be given through your port at different times, or constantly. Depending on the treatment you are getting, the non-coring needle can stay in place for up to seven days. Having a port may help you get the medicines and treatments that you need.