What is an Intrathecal Pimp Implant?
An intrathecal pump implant is a device that helps with chronic pain relief by delivering medication into the intrathecal space, which is the area surrounding the spinal cord.
This area houses the cerebrospinal fluid, which travels from the spinal cord to the brain. Because intrathecal medicine bypasses the regular routes of administration utilised by oral medications, it is often very successful for pain treatment in patients who do not respond to conventional medicines.
Who can Undergo an Intrathecal Pump Implant?
Intrathecal pump implant can be given in the following conditions;
- Spinal surgery that did not work
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Amputation-related pain
- Postherpetic neuralgia
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
How Does an Intrathecal Pump Work?
The pump is a 3-inch wide and 1-inch-thick disc. It has a battery that lasts 5 to 7 years and contains medicine. The pump is then attached to the catheter and connected to a little device outside the body so that the doctor can programme the pump.
The type of medicine utilised in the pump is determined by the kind of pain you’re experiencing and other considerations. When the pump runs out of medicine, it will need to be refilled, which could happen once every one to three months.
What is Done before Intrathecal Pump Implantation?
A trial is done before an intrathecal pain pump is installed to ensure it will work for you. During the trial, a small cut (incision) is made in the skin over a portion of the spine, and a rigid tube is inserted into the area surrounding the spinal cord (intrathecal space).
A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is then inserted into the intrathecal space through the first tube. For a few days, pain medicine is administered through this tube to see if it helps with the pain.
A pump will be implanted only if the trial is successful with pain relief.
How is an Intrathecal Pump Implanted?
During the procedure, the first catheter is removed, and a new catheter is inserted beneath the skin.
A physician then places a pump on one side of the lower tummy about an inch beneath the skin. The pump gradually delivers pain medicine into the intrathecal region once it is placed.
How much Time Does the Procedure Take?
The procedure takes around 30-40 minutes.
What Should be done after the Intrathecal Pump Implant?
The patient’s pain is replaced by numbness, which must be kept in mind, and any limb weakness should be reported to the doctor immediately.
What are the Benefits of an Intrathecal Pump Implant?
- Safe and effective.
- No long-term effects on the spinal cord or nerves.
- Can be tailored to meet your needs at different times of the day, night, or week by altering the dosage.
- The procedure allows you to try the therapy for a limited time before committing to a long-term treatment plan.
- Is reversible—the therapy can be turned off or surgically removed if desired.
- No requirement of pain medications orally, so fewer side effects.
- Improvement in the ability to function and participate in daily activities
- High patient satisfaction.