An implantable port is a thin, soft plastic tube with a rubber disc on the end. They are sometimes called portacaths or subcutaneous ports. They may remain in until the chemotherapy is over.

Your port will be put in by a nurse or doctor using local anesthesia.

The port is inserted below the skin—usually in the chest—and the attached tube enters a vein near the heart.

You may see a small bump below the skin where the port is. Your doctor or nurse will pass a needle through the skin until it reaches the port, where it will administer your chemotherapy into the vein. The skin over the port can be numbed first with an anesthetic cream so you don't feel any discomfort.

If the port isn't used regularly, it is emptied every four weeks in order to prevent blockage. Get in touch with your doctor if you experience reddening, swelling, or pain near or around the port or if you feel unwell. These may be symptoms of infection or a blood clot.