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Getting a Replacement – Drug Pumps

Cancer Pain

As someone who has chosen a Medtronic drug pump for chronic pain, you know first-hand the difference it can make. We want to ensure that you continue to benefit from your pain therapy.

Battery Life: SynchroMed II

The Medtronic SynchroMed® II pump uses a battery to keep the drug flowing through the pump and catheter. The typical battery life of your SynchroMed II pump will range between 5 and 7 years, depending on how much medicine you’re programmed to receive each day. Your doctor will closely monitor the performance and battery levels of your programmable pump at each of your refill appointments.

It is important to know that the SynchroMed II pump will last a maximum of 7 years. The automatic shut-off feature helps ensure that the pump works correctly to provide pain therapy.

If you have a SynchroMed II pump, you will need to have your pump surgically replaced with a new pump before it automatically shuts off. This requires surgery.


When to Schedule a Replacement

The SynchroMed II pump (the pump most often implanted after July 2004) has an elective replacement indicator (ERI) alarm. This alarm sounds when your pump is nearing End of Service. If the pump is not replaced after the ERI alarm sounds, the pump will continue to operate for a while, but will stop after 90 days. A stopped pump results in a loss of therapy that can lead to an underdose or withdrawal symptoms.

Be sure to tell your doctor right away if you experience any unusual symptoms, side effects, or changes in your condition.

Catheter Replacement

Your doctor will determine at the time of pump replacement if you should also get a new catheter. Often, the catheter can stay in place and be reconnected to the new Medtronic SynchroMed II pump.

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.