Following a successful trial, you and your doctor will decide if a permanent implant is right for you.
The implant procedure is similar to the trial procedure; you will have leads placed near your spinal cord. In addition, the neurostimulator will be permanently implanted under your skin. The procedure is usually done in a hospital or surgery center on an outpatient basis, and takes about one to three hours.
After the surgery, it may take you several weeks to recover and for the leads to settle into place. During this time, your doctor may advise that you avoid certain activities, including those that involve lifting, bending, and twisting. You may also experience pain at the neurostimulator implant site.
The system won’t be turned on until you’ve recovered, so remember not to expect pain relief from spinal cord stimulation (SCS) immediately after surgery. Once your system is turned on and you’ve experienced the therapy for a while, follow up with your doctor to ensure that it’s working correctly and relieving your pain. There are many stimulation settings available. Your doctor will help you find the settings that are right for you.
Follow-up appointments are usually once every six months. However, initially the neurostimulation system may require more frequent adjustments. Your doctor will explain how to personalize your therapy to achieve the best pain relief. Your therapy programmer can adjust the stimulation to levels that are right for you. This puts you in control of your stimulation, to make sure the therapy is meeting your needs.
Implanting the SCS system requires surgery which can have serious complications. Once the neurostimulation system is implanted, it’s possible that device complications may occur. Talk with your doctor to fully understand the risks and benefits of any therapy.
Ambassadors are patients that currently use SCS therapy and volunteer to share their experience. This service is for people interested in learning about SCS. Medical advice can not be given.
Watch our patient videos to see how SCS impacted their lives.
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.