Having a SCS device fitted is a two stage process. This is not a major surgery but it is usually done in a theatre where it is clean and we have all equipment available.


You will have a general anaesthetic  during the spinal cord stimulator insertion.


Standard fasting guidelines are maintained i.e. no solids, milk etc., for 6 hours prior to the procedure. Clear fluids may be taken up to 4 hours prior to the procedure in small amounts. Please bear in mind you will be on the theatre table prone (on your tummy / face down). If you have a history of reflux, hiatus hernia, acid peptic disease please let us know and also let the anaesthetist know on the day of the procedure or during pre assessment.


Kindly take your regular pain medications prior to the procedure on the day. If you are on any anticoagulant medication (drugs to thin your blood), e.g. warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel or newer oral anticoagulants, these need to stopped in discussion with your clinician/cardiologist and responsible prescriber including your GP.

Implant Procedure

Having a Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) fitted is a two stage process.

 

This is not a major surgery but it is usually done in a theatre where it is clean and we have all equipment available.

 

You will have a general anaesthetic  during the spinal cord stimulator insertion.

 

Standard fasting guidelines are maintained i.e. no solids, milk etc., for 6 hours prior to the procedure. Clear fluids may be taken up to 4 hours prior to the procedure in small amounts.

 

Please bear in mind you will be on the theatre table prone (on your tummy / face down). If you have a history of reflux, hiatus hernia, acid peptic disease please let us know and also let the anaesthetist know on the day of the procedure or during pre assessment.

 

Take your regular pain medications prior to the procedure on the day.

 

If you are on any anticoagulant medication (drugs to thin your blood), e.g. warfarin, aspirin, clopidogrel or newer oral anticoagulants, these need to stopped in discussion with your clinician/cardiologist & responsible prescriber including your GP.

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Stage 2: Permanent implant

If all goes well during the trial period and you decide to have the device implanted in your body then you will return to theatre after two to four weeks to make the SCS permanent.

STAGE ONE: Percutaneous or Surgical Trial

Stage 1 lets you and the doctor trial the SCS to determine if it is going to give you enough pain relief and if you like it.

 

The trial period is generally for 2-4 weeks allowing you an opportunity to evaluate the therapy and decide if it works for you and more importantly if you would like to have it permanently implanted in your body at a later date. If you are having an SCS percutaneous trial (through the skin trial), the leads will be removed from your body at 2 weeks.

 

This is an Out Patient procedure carried out in a sterile area. 

 

If you have a successful surgical trial with BostonScientific / Medtronic / Nevro & St Jude systems, you proceed to Stage 2

 

If you have a successful surgical trial with StimWave you have no further Surgery.

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Where are the leads & computer placed?

Spinal cord stimulator leads are placed in the epidural space. The epidural space runs from your neck along the length of your spine. It contains the nerves that connect your spine to your upper and lower body. The leads are placed into the epidural space through a needle. The doctor will also use an x-ray machine to help guide him/her. This is done under General Anaesthetic.

Spinal cord stimulator computer:  

In the case of Boston Scientific/Medtronic/Nevro/St Jude in your tummy generally in the left lower tummy area. 

If you have had an appendectomy previously it could be placed in the right lower tummy area. It can also be placed in the upper buttock area.

You and your doctor can discuss this when you come to the SCS Clinic.

 

In the case of StimWave it is external clipped to your clothing where you decide.

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