ABC-7 anchor Estela Casas has surpassed the latest milestone in her breast cancer journey.
In August 2017, Casas was diagnosed with synchronous bilateral breast cancer. The week before receiving chemotherapy treatments, Casas had an implantable device, known as a port-a-cath, placed in her chest.
A port-a-cath is a small port and a catheter that allows doctor’s to gain easy access into the patience’s vein and administer drugs.
The implant was done under general anesthesia. Doctors used an ultrasound to place a quarter-size device with a foot-long cather into the vein connected to the heart.
“Every 21 days nurses placed a special needle to deliver chemo and immunotherapy drugs,” said Estela.
Throughout her treatment, six chemo-therapies and 12 adjuvant therapies were administered in the port-a-cath, minimizing poking and prodding involved in chemotherapy.
After 15 months, the port-a-cath was finally removed from Estela’s chest.
Surgical oncologist Dr. Mark Landeros told Estela she had no evidence of the disease which is why Landeros and his surgical team were removing the catheter.
“Thank God you went through your treatment,” Landeros said.
Once doctors numbed the area where the implant located and remove the stitches that kept it in place, the catheter was removed.
Dr. Landeros then stitched up the wound and placed a special tape and antibiotic treatment. The removal procedure took only 12 minutes to complete.
The vena cava was punctured. Doctors said is will close up on its own just like a regular vein after it’s poked.
Implantable ports were invented in 1981. Oncology patients were one of the first to use the device.