After Surgery – Drug Pumps

After your implant procedure, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery care and keep all follow-up appointments as scheduled. 

Immediately After Surgery 

Following your surgery, you will likely feel some discomfort at both incision sites (in your back and your abdomen) for several days. This incisional pain feels like a bruise. You may experience a headache for a few days.

Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve the pain caused by surgery and antibiotics to prevent infection. If you notice any swelling, pain, or redness near your incision, notify your doctor. 

The Weeks After Surgery 

After the implant, your doctor may recommend that you restrict your activity for 6 to 8 weeks. This allows time for scar tissue to form and anchor the catheter in place. It’s important to remember that even after the initial healing period, some activities may cause wear on your catheter. Talk to your doctor for more information. 

Beginning Treatment 

You will begin receiving treatment as soon as your pump is filled and programmed to deliver the prescribed amount of pain medication through the catheter into the intrathecal space. Keep in mind, however, that it takes time to achieve an appropriate balance between pain relief, progress toward goals, and managing side effects.

Commitment to Success 

Managing chronic pain requires a commitment from you to ensure success.

It is very important that you keep your refill appointments. Missing a refill appointment could result in:

  • Loss of, or change in, your therapy
  • Underdose (too little) drug that could lead to a return of pain symptoms or, possibly, symptoms of withdrawal
  • Damage to the pump that could require replacement surgery

If prescribed by your doctor, you will need to:

  • Learn to use the optional myPTM programmer
  • Participate in other pain treatments, such as physical therapy


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 16 Oct 2015

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