Unlike other chronic pain treatments or surgeries, you can experience targeted drug delivery and see if it relieves your pain before committing to long-term therapy. A trial serves as a temporary evaluation period.
If you have a successful trial and your pain responds to targeted drug delivery, you can proceed with long-term therapy. You have had a successful trial if the therapy meets your goals and expectations.
At the trial:
The trial will take place in a hospital. After the trial, you and your doctor will discuss your experience and decide if an implantable drug delivery system is right for you.
There are two trial methods. Your doctor will recommend the method that makes the most sense for your situation and discuss the risks of the procedure with you.
Complications can occur with the trial, including bleeding, infection, spinal headaches, and drug side effects. The catheter also may need to be replaced. You should not undergo a trial if you have an active infection at the time of the test, have a body size too small to accommodate an implanted pump, or if you are allergic to the screening medication.
After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room. You may experience some discomfort in the area of your back where the incision(s) was made. This is temporary and will resolve in the hours and days following the procedure.
If your trial involved the injection method, you will:
Discuss your response to the trial with your doctor before going home. Your doctor will want to know:
If your trial involved the continuous infusion method, your doctor will discuss the following regarding your temporary system:
If you are uncomfortable during the continuous infusion screening trial, you can have the temporary catheter removed.
At the end of your trial period, your doctor will:
One way to think about your experience with a pain pump is to compare your ability to do things before and during the trial.
If you decide to proceed with targeted drug delivery, there will be a waiting period after the screening test and before your implant procedure. This will give the incision in your back time to heal and for the surgery to be scheduled.
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.