Lake Imaging offers Portagrams at:
- St John of God Hospital – Ballarat (see map) Request an appointment
- St John of God Hospital – Geelong (see map) Request an appointment
About a Portagram
A portagram is a fluoroscopic examination to evaluate a Port-a-cath or other implanted venous access device for patency.
A Porta-a-cath is a small medical device that is implanted beneath the skin which is designed to permit repeated access to the venous system for delivery of medications.
Your appointment and preparation
A referral from your doctor and an appointment are required for a portagram examination.
Your port will need to be accessed prior to arriving for your appointment; your referring doctor will arrange this when making your booking.
Please advise us if you have had a previous allergic reaction to x-ray contrast.
What can I expect during a Portagram?
Before the procedure begins at you will be asked to change from your clothes into a simple gown so that folds of clothing and metal fasteners do not interfere with the acquisition of clear x-ray images.
A small amount of x-ray contrast (dye) will be injected through the Port-a-Cath in order to fill the port and catheter. A series of live x-ray images will be taken while the dye is injected and the radiologist will watch to observe if the contrast flows through the catheter.
What are the risks and side effects?
On rare occasions, a person may have an allergic reaction to the x-ray contrast
X-rays require the use of ionising radiation. As with all x-rays, there is always a slight risk as you will receive a small dose of radiation. X-rays are only performed where it is deemed the benefit of the examination will outweigh any potential risks. At Lake Imaging you can be assured that using the latest technology and with staff trained in radiation reduction techniques, radiation doses are kept as low as reasonably possible. Our state of the art x-ray equipment uses minimal amounts of x-rays to produce the best quality images for a diagnosis.
If it is possible that you may be pregnant, please tell our radiology team before your x-rays are taken to avoid any risks to your unborn child.
If you are worried or concerned about having x-rays you should discuss this with your referrer before coming for your examination.
For further information regarding radiation safety please visit:
Who will perform my examination and write the report?
At Lake Imaging your examination will be carried out by a Radiologist (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images), who will then prepare and send a report to your referring doctor detailing the findings of your examination.
What should I expect after my examination?
After the portagram procedure is completed you will need to return to the chemotherapy unit to have the IV extension tube disconnected and the Porta-Cath flushed with heparinised saline.
You will be able to leave our clinic shortly after your portagram is completed. You may eat and drink normally, and you will be able to drive yourself home and return to your normal activities.
How do I obtain my results?
If medically urgent, or you have an appointment immediately after your portagram procedure to see your referring doctor or health care provider, Lake imaging will arrange to have your results available immediately. Otherwise, your referring doctor or health care provider will receive your report within 48 hours of your examination.
Please ensure that you make a follow up appointment with your referring doctor or health care provider to discuss your portagram results