An intrathecal pump is a device used to manage cancer pain and chronic pain. An intrathecal pain pump can provide superior pain relief through targeted drug delivery (TDD), while minimizing the side effects of systemic opioids. An intrathecal catheter is placed into the spinal space, which is attached to a pump which is inserted into the patient’s flank or abdomen. The pump is then programmed to deliver targeted drug delivery into the spinal space. This is a great treatment option for patients who have exhausted other treatments.
What is an Intrathecal Pump Implant?
So what is an intrathecal pump implant, and how does it work? An intrathecal pump is a small device used for targeted drug delivery in the spine. Once implanted, the pump releases pain medication into the patient’s intrathecal space (the area around the spinal cord) at regulated intervals, providing pain relief in the process.
The procedure begins with general anesthesia. Once the patient is asleep, the surgeon inserts a catheter through a small incision in the back and into the intrathecal space of the spine. The catheter is then attached to the pump, which is typically placed in the flank space or the abdomen. Finally, the surgical incisions are closed.
Since pain pumps do not work well in every patient, the first step is a trial to see if you will respond to the treatment. If you experience significant pain relief, a permanent pump may be implanted. Occasionally a trial is not necessary with cancer related pain.
Intrathecal Pump Uses
Intrathecal pumps generally work best for patients who have failed conservative treatment options for chronic pain, are suffering from the side effects of systemic opioids, or have intractable pain from Cancer. It offers another option for patients who wish to avoid further surgery, or who are not good candidates for further surgery. Intrathecal pain pumps may not work for every patient
When they do work, intrathecal pumps provide faster pain relief and fewer side effects than oral medications.
Twin Cities Pain Clinic
If you are suffering from cancer pain or chronic pain, an intrathecal pump may provide the pain relief you are looking for. Contact Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of Minnesota to set up your appointment with one of our pain specialists and see if you are a good candidate for an intrathecal pain pump. You can make an appointment using our form on this site, or by calling us at (612) 20-SPINE.