A lot of patients who are undergoing long-term chemotherapy treatments get implanted with a chemo port. Occasionally the ports cause some discomfort, and some wonder how the port might interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Here we have highlighted some ways to reduce your pain and be better able to sleep at night.
What is a chemo port?
A chemo port is a small (the size of a quarter) reservoir that contains a soft tube (catheter) which is attached to a large vein. A key benefit of wearing a port for people undergoing chemotherapy is that fluids can easily be inserted into veins via this port. Additionally, the port eliminates the need for any needles for other procedures such as drawing blood, since the chemo port can conveniently draw blood for you. The chemo port placement is usually under the skin in the upper chest to access a large vein. It is up to the patient and their treatment provider to decide how long the port is required to be worn. It could be there for weeks, months, or even years, depending on your treatment.
How to sleep with a chemo port?
The chemo port initially causes some discomfort, but thankfully, it will subside in a short period of time. In just a few weeks, you won’t even know it’s there. A lot of people are concerned with chemo port restrictions, but luckily there aren’t any; you can swim, shower, drive and go about your activities just the way you usually do. A few small adjustments to your daily sleep routine will allow you to sleep without feeling your port.
Tips to help sleep with a chemo port
Sleep facing up
Laying down face down may push on your port and hence cause you some discomfort. Since these ports are implanted under the skin, they cause some irritation in the area early on. Putting pressure on the port might cause some pain, and that will prevent you from sleeping properly. So it is best if you lay facing up.
Get a suitable mattress and pillows
Anything that can aid you in sleeping better will help manage the discomfort of the chemo port. Therefore, it is crucial that you do not have pillows that cause a strain on your neck or a mattress that hurts your back. If possible, treat yourself to new bedding and try to create a comfortable sleeping environment.
Place pillows around yourself
Placing pillows around yourself is a great way to avoid tossing and turning during the night. These will stop you from making movements that might pull and irritate the skin around your chemo port thus causing you discomfort. Additionally, these will also prevent you from sleeping in a face-down position.
Find the most comfortable position to sleep in
A lot of people have the habit of sleeping on their side. If you do that, make sure you're sleeping on the side that does not have the port attached. This way, you will avoid putting pressure on the port. Laying on your back is the best way to sleep with a chemo port. Side sleeping essentially prevents any possible discomfort.
Wear loose and soft clothing
It is a good idea to wear soft fabrics that will not irritate the skin around the port. Wearing loose cozy clothing also prevents any additional pressure on the chemo port and will help you sleep much better at night.
Here at Reboundwear, our goal is to provide you with clothes that are comfortable, attractive, and functional so that getting treatments is easy. They’re stylish enough to wear throughout the day and cozy enough to sleep in. Click here to check out our store, and learn more.