Spinal Cord Stimulation: Your Experience
Stimulator placement is done in two stages. A trial (test) stage is done to see how well spinal cord stimulation works for you. If the trial stage is a success, the permanent stimulator system is put into place.
Discuss the results of the trial stage with your doctor.
Getting Ready at Home
Your doctor will give you guidelines on how to get ready for the procedures. Tell your doctor what medications you take, and ask if you should stop taking any of them. Do not eat or drink for 8 hours before you check in for the procedures.
Placing the Trial Leads
The trial leads are placed under the skin on your back through a small incision. One end of the leads is placed near the spinal cord. The other end of the leads is attached to the stimulator power source. The stimulator is then adjusted to the right level. For the trial stage, you wear the power source outside your body.
The Trial Stage
You will be instructed to keep a second pain log during the trial stage. This log can be compared with your first pain log to show how well the stimulator system is working for you.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Also call your doctor if the pain symptoms return.
Placing the Permanent System
If the trial stimulator works well for you, a permanent system will be put into place. This must be done in the hospital. Prepare for it as instructed. The receiver or the power source is implanted under the skin on your abdomen or buttocks. The power source is small, so it won't show under your clothing. After the system is in place, the settings are checked to make sure they are at the right level for you.
After the Procedures
You may stay in the hospital overnight. The implant site will be sore for a few days. The leads need some time to become fixed so they don't move around. Your doctor will tell you what activities to avoid for the next month or so.