10 November 2010
A portacath is a small chamber or reservoir that sits under the patient's skin at the end of their central line. Chemotherapy drugs are given by inserting a needle into the chamber. The portacath stays in place for as long as treatment is needed.

The main advantage of a portacath is that it is not visible on the outside of the body. There is no tube coming out of the chest, as there is with a central line. But some people prefer a central line because they don't like having a needle put in each time they need treatment.

It is possible to have the area over the portacath numbed with a local anaesthetic cream before the needle is put in.


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