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Pain Pump Surgery Recovery Time

Pain Pumps Vs Oral Meds: Which Is Better

Pain pump surgery recovery

Pain pumps are considered more effective than oral medication as they work directly in the CSF or cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds your brain and spinal cord and means that drugs are absorbed quicker and more directly. You also need far less medication for this reason: pain pumps use about 1/300 the amount of drugs than oral medications.

Daily Life With Targeted Drug Delivery

Talk with your physician about the types of activities that may be easier with targeted drug delivery. Develop a plan for doing the things that matter most to you. Setting goals is important to get the most out of long- term drug delivery therapy.

Once you have a targeted drug delivery system, you will need to call your physician right away if you:

  • Experience additional or unusual pain
  • Notice any increase or new drug side effects
  • Think you need to increase the intensity of your therapy
  • Hear the pump alarm

The Parts Of Your Intrathecal Pump

The intrathecal pump has 2 main parts: the pump and the catheter.

  • The pump is a round device. Its about 1 inch thick and 3 inches wide, which is about the size of a hockey puck. The pump will look like a bulge under the skin of your abdomen .
  • The catheter is connected to the pump. It sends pain medication from the pump to your nerves.

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The First Step Of Pain Pump Treatment: A Trial Run

If our team determines that a pain pump is the best treatment for you, we first work with you to gradually lower your medication dosage by half before you start with the treatment.

Next, before you can have your pain pump semi-permanently placed, you need to go through a trial phase using it. This ensures that the long-term placement site will be optimal and that the pump method is indeed right for you.

We insert a thin catheter into your spine to access your spinal fluid. An X-ray allows us to move the catheter to the desired location, and this insertion process takes only 30 minutes.

Microdoses of pain medication are added to your spinal fluid during the next several days via the catheter. If the treatment works well during this period, youre ready for a pain pump to be placed in the same spot semi-permanently.

Preparing For The Pain Pump Procedure

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  • Once you and your pain specialist have determined a pain pump is a good option for you, your surgery will be scheduled.
  • Before the procedure, you may have some tests, such as a blood test and an EKG to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo the operation.
  • You will be advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery.
  • Ask your doctor if and how you should take your medications the morning of your procedure.

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Innovation In Treating Opioid Addiction

We offer multiple treatments for opioid addiction, but one of the most innovative and successful has proven to be intrathecal drug delivery implantation, otherwise known as a pain pump. A pump sends pain medications straight to your cerebrospinal fluid, where there are many pain receptors.

Pain pumps offer significant benefits if youre struggling with opioid addiction:

  • You receive greatly reduced amounts of medication because your need is lessened
  • Lower doses of pain medication mean fewer, less severe side effects
  • Your decreased dependence on opioids is the natural result
  • You enjoy enhanced quality of life

Since the pain pump delivers medication in such a targeted way, you no longer handle medication manually, or struggle with when and if you should take them, and your pain is managed in a consistent way that also presents less risk for misuse and abuse.

Its important to note that we are the only practice in our area that provides this therapy.

Explore Your Chronic Pain Treatment Options

This website is not intended to provide specific medical advice, medical diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this website and links to other websites, Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use this information in place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Segura Neuroscience & Pain Center is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this website.

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Risks Of Targeted Drug Delivery

Pump or catheter problems can occur after implantation, which may require corrective surgery and/or cause a drug overdose or underdose that may be serious or life-threatening. Implanting the system has risks similar to any surgical procedure, including infection. Drugs infused through the system may result in adverse events. Errors in locating the pump during the refill procedure can result in symptoms of overdose that may be serious or life-threatening.

For additional safety information, please refer to Important Safety Information. Always discuss the potential risks and benefits of the therapy with your physician.

What Our Patients Say

Day 3 post op from Pain pump

âI have been seeing Dr Trujillo for more than three years both him and the staff has always been very professional and polite. They really care about me and we talk about different was to help my pain they donât treat me like Iâm stupid like a lot of doctors do I have the last word . I have had fifteen surgeries since my accident and I would Definitely recommend Dr. Trujillo for a pain management doctor thank you.â â Walt

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Cost Of Intrathecal Pain Pump And Catheter

  • There are two types of intrathecal pain pump known as programmable pump and non-programmable pump.
  • Cost of Programmable pump is higher than non-programmable pump.
  • The cost also includes intrathecal catheter and kit. Pre-sterilized kit contains needle and all necessary instruments to insert catheter in cerebrospinal fluid. The payment of treatment depends on payment schedule of Medicare and other health care provider.

What Are The Types Of Pain

You may receive more than one type of pain treatment, depending on your needs and the type of surgery you are having. All of these treatments are relatively safe, but like any therapy, they are not completely free of risk. Dangerous side effects are rare. Nausea, vomiting, itching, and drowsiness can occur. These side effects can be troubling but are usually easily treated in most cases.

Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia

Patient-controlled analgesia is a computerized pump that safely permits you to push a button and deliver small amounts of pain medicine into your intravenous line, usually in your arm. No needles are injected into your muscle. PCA provides stable pain relief in most situations. Many patients like the sense of control they have over their pain management.

The PCA pump is programmed to give a certain amount of medication when you press the button. It will only allow you to have so much medication, no matter how often you press the button, so there is little worry that you will give yourself too much.

Never allow family members or friends to push your PCA pump button for you. This removes the patient control aspect of treatment, which is a major safety feature. You need to be awake enough to know that you need pain medication.

Patient-controlled epidural analgesia

Nerve blocks

Pain medications taken by mouth

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Why Are Opioids So Easy To Get Addicted To

Opiates, which are naturally derived from the poppy flower, and opioids, which are at least partially synthetic, prove very effective for pain because they successfully block pain signals that are directed throughout your body from your brain.

Significant amounts of dopamine are released when you use opioids, and dopamine is the neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, that heightens your sense of pleasure.

When you develop an addiction, you want that feeling of pleasure more and more, and with opioids, you need to take increasing amounts to get the high you desire. Once addicted, a downward health spiral occurs that leads to:

  • Hypoxia, which occurs when your brain is deprived of oxygen
  • Collapsed veins and hepatitis
  • Heart infections
  • Compromised immune response, increasing your risk for infection

A paradoxical effect of opioid misuse and abuse is that the drugs can actually heighten your sensitivity to pain, even though they are prescribed to offer relief from it.

What To Expect After Your Surgery

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After your surgery, your incisions may be sore. You will be given a prescription for pain medication before you leave the hospital. Talk with your doctor or nurse about possible side effects and when you should start switching to over-the-counter pain medications.

You will stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days as your doctor plans the type and amount of medication you will need to control your pain.

Your doctor or nurse will give you an identification card that says you have an implanted device. Carry this card at all times while you have your intrathecal pump, both in the hospital and at home.

Activities after your surgery

For about 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery, follow these guidelines so your body can heal.

  • Dont lift anything heavier than 10 pounds .
  • Dont bend over, such as to pick something up from the ground.
  • Dont twist your body, such as to crack your back.
  • Dont expose your body to extreme hot or cold temperatures, such as in a sauna, hot tub, or ice bath.

Talk to your pain doctor about when you can go back to your normal daily activities.

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Intrathecal Pumps And Epidural Catheters

Intrathecal pumps are different from epidural catheters, which is what women get during childbirth. While both pumps give pain medication directly to the nerves in your spine, there are some differences.

This table gives some examples of how intrathecal pumps and epidural catheters are different.

Intrathecal Pump

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What To Expect After The Pump Implant

  • While recovering from the implant, you can take oral pain medicine as directed by your doctor. Opioids may be used, for a limited time only, until the pump medication starts to work.
  • For the next six weeks, you will need to avoid physical effort such as bending, lifting, twisting, or reaching overhead. This prevents the catheter from slipping out of place, while you are healing.
  • The degree of pain relief depends on your underlying pain condition and its severity. Most patients feel a reduction in pain and are able to increase their activity level.

What Is The Recovery From The Intrathecal Pump Implant Procedure

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Initial recovery after the pain pump implantation involves coming off of anesthesia. During this time, all vital signs are monitored and pain is managed by the medical staff, if necessary. Many patients go home the same day with instructions for post-operative care. Instructions will outline how to manage comfort, when various activities such as walking can be resumed, how to care for incisions, and when to call the doctor.

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How Is The Intrathecal Pump Procedure Performed

The pain pump implantation procedure is performed under general anesthesia, which is administered once the patient is on the operative table. With the patient lying on their side, Dr. Trujillo and the surgical team prepares the skin on the stomach and the back, where the device and catheter will be inserted.

Dr. Trujillo makes an incision in the central area of the back and the catheter is inserted and guided into the intrathecal space near the spinal cord. An extension catheter is then passed from the spinal area around the torso to the stomach area where the pump will be inserted.

Next, an incision is made in the side of the lower abdominal area. A pocket is created between the muscle layer and the skin. The extension catheter is attached to the pump, and the device is positioned into the pocket that was created. Sutures secure the pump to the thick layer of fascia that lies over the abdominal muscles.

All incisions are closed with sutures and dressings are placed on the skin.

What To Expect After Getting A Pain Pump

Initially, after getting a pain pump, patients may experience discomfort related to the procedure itself. This may be addressed with narcotic medication for two to four weeks, after which patients will transition to other, non-addictive drugs. As recovery from the pump implantation procedure progresses, patients notice results such as:

  • Reduced need for oral pain medication
  • Less upset stomach, constipation, fatigue, and other side effects of oral medication
  • Improved physical comfort and mobility
  • Reduction in muscle spasms and rigidity

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Are There Ways I Can Relieve Pain Without Medication

Yes, there are other ways to relieve pain and it is important to keep an open mind about these techniques. When used along with medication, these techniques can dramatically reduce pain.

Guided imagery is a proven form of focused relaxation that helps create calm, peaceful images in your mind — a “mental escape.”

Relaxation media can be purchased at some bookstores or on-line stores, or can be borrowed from your local library. You can bring your relaxation media and listening device to the hospital to play prior to surgery and during your hospital stay.

For the best results, practice using the relaxation techniques before your surgery, and then use them twice daily during your recovery. Listening to soft music, changing your position in bed, or tuning in to a hospital relaxation channel are additional methods to relieve or lessen pain. Ask your nurse for channel information.

At home, heat or cold therapy may be an option to help reduce swelling and control your pain. Your surgical team will provide specific instructions if these therapies are appropriate for you.

If you have an abdominal or chest incision, you will want to splint the area with a pillow when you are coughing or breathing deeply to decrease motion near your incision. You will be given a pillow in the hospital. Continue to use it at home as well.

Myptm Personal Therapy Manager


If your physician prescribes it, you may receive a handheld device called myPTM Personal Therapy Manager to help alleviate your unpredictable pain. myPTM works with your SynchroMed II pump and allows you to get an extra dose, or bolus, of medication when needed and within limits set by your physician.

Patients experience higher levels of therapy satisfaction with a myPTM.1 myPTM offers simple bolus delivery, clear lockout timer, and convenient access to therapy details such as refill date. Ask your clinician about having myPTM prescribed with your therapy.

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You Dont Need To Keep Track Of When To Take Your Medications

When your doctor prescribes oral opioids for you, dosage will be written along with it. You need to follow the dosage accordingly. But with pain pump, it is programmed to release medications slowly and constantly. The flow of medications may also be increased at the times of the day when you expect to have more pain. All these are done automatically because the pump stores information about your medication dosage and prescription in its memory.

How Does A Pain Pump Work

The parts of the intrathecal pump are placed in your body through a surgical procedure. There are several parts:

  • A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is inserted in the intrathecal space surrounding the spinal cord.
  • An extension catheter attaches to the catheter in the intrathecal space and goes around the torso.
  • The extension catheter attaches to the pump, a round device that is about 1 inch thick and 3 inches across. The pump is implanted under the skin of the abdomen . Your surgeon will program the pump to deliver a measured dose of medication directly to the intrathecal space at specific times.
  • Inside the pump is a hollow, refillable reservoir that holds the medication. When the reservoir is empty, it can be refilled with a needle.
  • A personal therapy manager device helps you give yourself an extra dose if you need it. The doctor will preset the PTM with the correct dosage amount so you can use it safely on your own. The PTM typically runs on two AA batteries: Make sure you have fresh batteries in the device so it is ready to use if and when you need it.

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