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Portacath insertion, post-operative care


  • patientLeave dressing intact for 48 hours. Under this dressing there is a 3–4 cm incision that is closed up with sutures under the skin that will dissolve in time. You do not need to come back to hospital to have your stitches removed.
  • Keep the dressing dry for 48 hours. When showering, cover the dressing with plastic.
  • After 48 hours remove the dressing in the shower slowly. Do not pull hard as this may disrupt the stitches under the skin.
  • Gently clean the area with damp, clean cotton wool.
  • Leave the wound uncovered. You may wish to re-cover them but this is not required. The small adhesive strips (Steristrips) will fall off or are safe for removal after 7–10 days.

What do I need to avoid?

  • Avoid strenuous physical activity for 3–4 days.
  • For the first 48 hours, when resting or sleeping at night, ensure that the side you are sleeping on is not the side of the Portacath.

Pain management

  • The majority of people do not complain of a lot of pain after the procedure. This is because the local anaesthetic that was inserted into you skin at the beginning of the procedure is still working. As the local anaesthetic wears off, pain may increase. Usually paracetamol (Panadol or Panamax) will be sufficient to control the pain but in some cases you may wish to consider Panadeine for stronger pain relief.
  • Both forms of analgesia are readily available at your chemist and please take as directed.
  • Please contact Qscan on 07 3357 0361 or 07 3357 0333 if you have any questions about your pain or if it is severe.

What to watch out for

  • Infection may occur. Please observe for any signs of increasing redness, pain, fever or a discharge that looks like pus. If you notice any of theses signs of infection please contact your doctor immediately.
  • Bruising may occur at the site of Portacath insertion. If you have any other concerns please contact your doctor, Qscan or Mater Private Hospital Brisbane CardioVascular Unit on the following numbers: Qscan: 07 3357 0361 or 07 3357 0333  Mater Private Hospital Brisbane CardioVascular Unit: 07 3163 6700

Location and contact details


Mater Private CardioVascular Unit

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane
Level 6, 301 Vulture Street, South Brisbane,
Queensland 4101

South Brisbane campus

Telephone: 07 3163 6700
Bookings: 07 3163 1146 or 07 3163 1147
Facsimilie: 07 3163 6720


Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-450020
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 19/7/2014
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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