Intravenous literature: McNulty, N.J., Perrich, K.D., Silas, A.M., Linville, R.M. and Forauer, A.R. (2009) Implantable Subcutaneous Venous Access Devices: Is Port Fixation Necessary? A Review of 534 Cases. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. Published online: 3 December 2009.
Conventional surgical technique of subcutaneous venous port placement describes dissection of the port pocket to the pectoralis fascia and suture fixation of the port to the fascia to prevent inversion of the device within the pocket. This investigation addresses the necessity of that step. Between October 8, 2004 and October 19, 2007, 558 subcutaneous chest ports were placed at our institution; 24 cases were excluded from this study. We performed a retrospective review of the remaining 534 ports, which were placed using standard surgical technique with the exception that none were sutured into the pocket. Mean duration of port use, total number of port days, indications for removal, and complications were recorded and compared with the literature. Mean duration of port use was 341 days (182,235 total port days, range 1â€“1279). One port inversion/flip occurred, which resulted in malfunction and necessitated port revision (0.2%). Other complications necessitating port removal included infection 26 (5%), thrombosis n = 2 (<1%), catheter fracture/pinch n = 1 (<1%), pain n = 2 (<1%), and skin erosion n = 3 (1%). There were two arrhythmias at the time of placement; neither required port removal. The overall complication rate was 7%. The 0.2% incidence of port inversion we report is concordant with that previously published, although many previous reports do not specify if suture fixation of the port was performed. Suture fixation of the port, in our experience, is not routinely necessary and may negatively impact port removal.