These are my thoughts on Portacaths (ports) and Nasogastric (NG) tubes and (or buttons). Basically, if you need any of the above then you need it, simple as that. Firstly, buttons. I was somewhat of a test dummy for different designs before they could reuse the same hole. So if you’ve had a button in the past and have a tiny little scar, dont stress – as I too have several.
In my teens I despised having a button but it wasn’t until I could prove I could maintain weight without it that it was removed. At 18-19 years of age I commenced NG feeds because I was an adult with the body of a young boy. What I’m saying is feeds, for some of us, are a necessary. I’d rather be a healthy weight and have even been quite solid in the past due to feeds. I still do overnight feeds most nights to maintain my weight.
The same can be said for ports. If your veins are at the point where they aren’t easy to access (even ultrasound guided picc lines) or you’re in hospital a few times a year then a port may be a good option. I wouldn’t opt for a port just because you don’t like needles as I said only when you genuinely need one. I’m onto my second port as my first one was located in my inside upper arm which I preferred as it was less notice and out of the way of impact as I’m a sporty guy.
[Editor’s note: Ports can last many, many years if they are cared for correctly and flushed every 6-8 weeks].