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Patients’ experience of portacaths in cystic fibrosis: questionnaire-based study
  1. Lynne A McIntosh,
  2. Gregor M Walker
  1. Department of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Lynne A McIntosh, Department of Paediatric Surgery, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Dalnair Street, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK; lynneholmes{at}


Backgrounds and aims Portacaths are regularly used in children with cystic fibrosis (CF). We aimed to assess patient satisfaction with lateral chest wall portacaths in children with CF.

Methods All children in a geographical region with CF and portacath in situ were identified. Site of chest wall placement was identified on X-ray; only children with lateral chest wall portacaths were sent questionnaires. Data collected included preoperative information, cosmesis and interference with activities.

Results Of the 46 patients identified, 42 had lateral chest wall ports. 25 of this 42(60%) submitted their questionnaires. 22(88%) were happy with preoperative information although only 8(32%) recall being offered choice of position. 23(92%) were satisfied with cosmesis. 2 patients reported problems with physiotherapy only with indwelling needles. 6(24%) patients had problems with clothing, 7(32%) with sports and 3(12%) with seatbelts.

Conclusions Lateral chest wall portacaths are cosmetically acceptable. Impact on daily activities is less common than that reported with anterior chest wall placement.

  • portacath
  • patient satisfaction
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • implantable

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