Considering a Pain Pump? Questions to Ask Your Health Care Providers
Pain pumps deliver pain medication directly into the space around the spinal cord. The medication delivered by a pain pump blocks pain signals that would normally travel to the brain. There are many questions an individual may want to ask their health care providers to help determine if a pain pump is a good choice for their specific condition.
- What are the benefits of having a pain pump?
- What degree of pain relief will a pain pump provide?
- Are more conservative treatments available?
- What are the potential risks and complications of having a pain pump?
- Where will the pump be placed?
- Are there any activity limitations once the pump is in place?
- How long does the battery in the pump last?
- How long can the pump remain implanted?
- Why might the pump need to be removed or replaced? What does removal or replacement involve?
- What medication(s) will be used in the pain pump?
- What are the medication side effects?
- How long will it take for the medication to take effect?
- Will the medication be delivered continuously or at specific intervals of time?
- Can the dosage be increased or decreased if needed?
- What is the procedure for refilling the pump?
- How often will the pump need to be refilled? Who refills it?
Medical trial questions
- Will a trial phase be completed before having the pain pump implanted?
- What does a trial entail? How long does it last?
- What information from the trial will be used to help determine if a pain pump will be implanted?
Implantation procedure questions
- Where will the procedure take place? Who will perform the procedure?
- Will the procedure involve local or general anesthesia?
- Where will incisions be made?
- How long will the procedure take?
- What does recovery entail?
- What potential complications could occur?
- How much will the device, implantation, and medication cost?
- Are the device, procedure, and medication refills covered by insurance?
- Is pre-approval from the insurance company required?