Pain Pump Placements
Pain pumps deliver pain medication such as morphine through a small catheter into the area around your spinal cord in order to treat various types of chronic pain. The pump is surgically placed under the skin of your abdomen.
Since the pain medication is delivered directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it bypasses the path that oral pain medication takes in your body.
How is it done?
The pump is a round metal device that’s roughly the size of a hockey puck, with space to hold the pain medication. It is surgically implanted beneath the skin in your abdominal area.
A catheter is surgically placed in the intrathecal space of the spine and then connected to the pump.
How does the pump work?
The pump is programmed to slowly release pain medication over a period of time. The program itself is adjustable in order for the pump to release different amounts of medication at different times of the day as needed.
The space that holds medication can be refilled by a healthcare professional. This is done by inserting a needle through your skin to inject medication into the port. Having the pump will require you to establish regular follow-ups with a pain management specialist for refills, and also to ensure the actual effectiveness of the pump.
What’s the criteria to be considered for a pain pump?
- Conservative therapies have failed
- No additional surgery indicated
- Dependence on pain medication
- No prior psychological issues
- No contraindicated medical conditions
- No allergies to the drugs used in the pump
- Positive response to an initial trial
Depending on your medical condition, you may need clearance from your primary care physician or another specialist, such as a cardiologist. Certain medications may need to be stopped prior to surgery as well.
Preoperative blood work and testing are also required several days before the scheduled procedure.
After hospitalization, you will be released to your home. We will then schedule a follow-up with a pain management specialist.
What You Can Do to Help with Recovery
We strongly encourage our patients to quit all tobacco use, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigar pipes, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The nicotine in these products decreases blood circulation, which in turn slows healing of wounds and increases the risk of postoperative infection.