Intratehcal drug delivery or pain pump is the treatment, in which pain medication is administered directly into your spinal cord. The system has a small pump which is kept inside the skin of your abdomen and delivered medication with the help of catheter to the area around your spinal cord, similar to an epidural that women might have while childbirth. The Pain pump is considered to be the treatment option of many conservative methods, which have failed to give you relief from your pain. As medication is taken into your spinal cord directly, your symptoms can be controlled with a less dose. The main objective of this treatment is to have control over symptoms and to decrease oral medication and reducing their side effects.
The Process is carried out as…
There are two parts of this procedure: one is placement of the catheter in the intrathecal space around the spinal cord, and second is placement of the pump/reservoir in the abdomen. This treatment goes with five steps which are below
- You are asked to lay down on the operative table and given anesthesia, after that the areas of your back and stomach is cleaned and shaved, it is the place where the catheter and the pump will be applied.
- A minimal skin cut is made in the middle of your back. The bony arch (lamina) of the vertebra is made visible. The catheter is taken in the subarachnoid, or intrathecal space, upper side of spinal cord and saved in place with sutures.
- Once the catheter is confirmed to be in right place, an extension catheter is moved inside the skin from the spine, around your torso to the abdomen where the pump has to be implanted.
- A 4-6 inch skin cut is made on the side of your abdomen down the waistline. Your doctor will create a pocket for the pump among the skin and muscle layers. The extension catheter is merged with a pump. The pump is accurately fixed under the skin and sutured to the thick fascia layer covering the stomach muscles.
- The minimal cuts on your back and abdomen are closed successfully and dressing is applied
Am I a Candidate?
You can be a candidate for this treatment if you suffer from following conditions
- Conservative treatments have failed
- You relay on pain medication
- You do not have psychological problems
- You do not have any medical condition, that stops you from undergoing implantation
- You are not allergic to any of the medications used in the pump
How long the procedure takes?
It does not take more than two hours.
How long will it take to recover?
You will get up in the postoperative recovery area, which is called PACU. Your blood pressure, heart beat and respiration will be checked, and your pain will be tackled. Most patients are allowed to go home on the same day.
In giving medication straightforwardly to the main source of pain, less medication is used and that is why patients experience less side effects linked with pain medication, above all the pain relief is more overwhelming.