Once your Medtronic programmable drug pump or neurostimulator is implanted and the implant site is healed, you and your doctor will work together to develop a pain management program. That program may include other types of therapies in addition to your Medtronic device, like physical therapy and exercise, with the goal of helping you to restore function for daily living.
If successful, neurostimulation can help you manage your chronic pain and improve your ability to participate in your usual daily activities.1-6 Talk with your doctor about activities that may be easier with neurostimulation.
After the initial healing period (6-8 weeks), neurostimulation therapy for pain relief will become a routine part of your day.
A typical follow-up schedule is once every 6 months, although initially the neurostimulation system may require more frequent adjustments. Your doctor may want to see you more or less frequently, depending on your pain treatment plan.
Between visits, you should call your doctor if:
Realistic expectations are key to satisfaction with any pain treatment. It is important to remember that your neurostimulator will not eliminate the source of your pain or cure any underlying disease, but can help you manage the pain.
If you no longer need the neurostimulator or change your mind about the pain treatment, your doctor can turn it off or remove the system.
After the initial healing period (6 to 8 weeks), the drug pump will become a routine part of your day. In fact, clinical studies show that many people who did not get chronic pain relief from oral medications were able to improve their daily activities with a drug pump. (Results may vary.)7-11
Your pump is placed near the surface of your skin for refill access. You may be able to see the pump under your skin when it is not covered with clothes, or if you are wearing fitted clothes. Depending on your size and shape, where the pump is implanted, and the size of your pump, the pump may not show at all.
You will need to return to your doctor’s office periodically for checkups and to have your pump refilled. The medication in your pump needs to be refilled every 6 to 12 weeks, depending on your dosage and the size of your pump.
The doctor fills the pump with pain medication using a needle. You and your doctor must work together to find the dose of medication that is most comfortable for you.
Finding the best pain medication dose for you may take some time. If your pump is programmable, you can also have different doses programmed to adjust to different activities or times of the day.
Some movements may stretch or put strain on the catheter or on the stitches that hold your pump in place. Your doctor may give you guidelines for activities to avoid.
Although the catheter is made of flexible and durable materials, it is still subject to wear. Excessive or repetitive bending, twisting, bouncing, or stretching can move or stretch the catheter. This damage may require surgery to repair.
Realistic expectations are key to satisfaction with any pain treatment. It is important to remember that your pump will not eliminate the source of your pain or cure any underlying disease, but may help you to better manage your pain.
If you no longer need the pump or change your mind about the pain treatment, your doctor can turn it off or remove the system.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.