Intrathecal Pump Implant

An intrathe­cal pump relieves chron­ic pain. It uses small amounts of med­i­cine applied direct­ly to the intrathe­cal space (the area sur­round­ing the spinal cord) to pre­vent pain sig­nals from being per­ceived by the brain. Pump can­di­dates include peo­ple for whom con­ser­v­a­tive treat­ments have failed and surgery is not like­ly to help. After local anes­thet­ic is admin­is­tered, a catheter is insert­ed through a nee­dle or small inci­sion into the intrathe­cal space. This catheter is con­nect­ed to a tem­po­rary pump. It will be used for sev­er­al days to deter­mine if the sys­tem will help the patient.

If pain decreas­es dur­ing the tri­al peri­od, a per­ma­nent sys­tem may be implant­ed. The sec­ond pro­ce­dure is usu­al­ly per­formed while the patient is under gen­er­al anes­the­sia. The tem­po­rary catheter is removed and, through a nee­dle or inci­sion, a per­ma­nent catheter is implant­ed. The pump is implant­ed under the skin, usu­al­ly in the abdomen. The catheter is then con­nect­ed to the pump. The pump’s bat­tery may last three to five years, after which a new pump is implant­ed. The amount of med­ica­tion dis­pensed by the pump is pro­grammed with an exter­nal unit. Reg­u­lar vis­its to the doc­tor are need­ed to refill the pump. After surgery, patients may expe­ri­ence mild dis­com­fort and swelling at the inci­sion sites for sev­er­al days. Over time, the catheter may move or become dam­aged from stren­u­ous activ­i­ty and require repo­si­tion­ing or replacement.

Click here to review an illus­tra­tion of the Interthe­cal Pump Implan­ta­tion.
(Infor­ma­tion obtained from www​.viewmed​ica​.com 2012 Swarm Interactive).