Portacaths and Expense

How easy or should I say hard is it to get the onc to agree to fit a port? I was dx with bone mets in Feb 09. Have to have pamidronate infusions. I had my 1st infusion on Fri 13th. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in the only arm that can be used for these things. As soon as the needle went in, my arm started to get heavier and a ‘dead’ weight. Today is day 6 since the infusion and my arm is very painful, sore, numb and I can only lift it to heart level. My good arm has been reduced to being next to useless! I thought I went in to strengthen my bones and reduce the severe bone pain I am having at present. I have been deferring having the CTS operation as I was getting over my primary br ca and just wanted a year without operations and invasions.
I rang my BCN on Monday to ask if I could have a port. I was told the onc had to request it via the PCT and if they approved it, I could have one. I was thinking maybe I could have one fitted before my next infusion. Looks like there is no chance of that. BCN said it would take several months. I am assuming it is an expense issue!
I have rung my GP and he has written to the onc putting my case forward as it were. I really hope I am going to be successful in this fight. If a port is useful and helpful, and no doubt makes it easier to access the collapsed veins, I don’t understand why the NHS can’t make life a little easier in helping to cope with this dreaded disease. I really don’t want to go through the same saga for my next infusion. I would have thought they would take it into account that I had to abandon my chemo after 4 sessions the 1st time round.
Has anyone else had difficulty in getting approval for fitting a port?
Dee xx

Hi Dee

This sounds like a post code lottery item.

I had no problem at all, I just asked for one and got it no problem at all. Come to the Nottingham City Onc department!


Hi Carol
I might just do that if I don’t get any joy here. Mind you, like the school lottery, they will probably say I am out of the catchment area! Thanks though.
Dee x