Who removes port, fixes scarring?

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Question from Footers: My port scar, located a couple of inches below my collar bone, is wider and uglier than my lumpectomy. When it's removed at the end of summer, would it be okay to ask a plastic surgeon remove it, so there would be less scarring, and so I would have more clothing options? Would a plastic surgeon know how to remove the port, or would they have to assist the radiologist?
Answers - Maria Theodoulou, M.D. The metaport or the infuser port, when it's removed, is usually removed by the person who placed it. So if a surgeon placed it, the surgeon will generally remove it. If it was placed by an interventionary radiologist, then that person would remove it. The skin often heals fairly well over that port site. If there is a risk that the skin overlying that port may be scarred, it is a good idea to have it examined by a plastic surgeon before the port is removed to see if the plastic surgeon should be involved. Many patients have a port in that area around the collarbone. I recommend to my patients in that situation that they be examined by a plastic surgeon and take their advice whether they should be involved in the removal.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Summertime Issues: Treatment and Personal Care featured Maria Theodoulou, M.D., Tamara Shulman, Ph.D., and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about the various summertime issues that relate to breast cancer treatment and personal care.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in June 2005.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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