Step by Step Walkthrough of a Pain Pump Procedure


1. What To Expect Before Surgery

Before having a pain pump installed, a patient may be scheduled for a blood test, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, or other tests. A patient may also need to fill out paperwork and consent forms. 

On the morning of the procedure, a patient will be admitted to the hospital. He or she will be asked not to eat or drink past midnight on the night before. An intravenous line or IV will be started in the patient's arm, and an anesthesiologist will discuss the effects and risks of anesthesia.

2. What To Expect During Surgery

The two main parts of the procedure include placing the catheter in the space surrounding the spinal cord and installing the pump under the skin of the abdomen. The five steps of the process are listed below: 

Step One: Preparation 

The patient is given anesthesia on the operative table. When he or she is asleep, doctors will roll the patient's body onto one side. The stomach and back are shaved and prepped for the placement of the catheter and pump. 

Step Two: Placing the Catheter 

The next step is to make a small incision in the skin located in the middle of the back to expose the lamina (the bony arch of the vertebra). The catheter is placed and secured with sutures. 

Step Three: Extending the Catheter 

With the catheter in place, a doctor will add an extension to the catheter under the skin from the spine to the torso to the abdomen where the pump will be installed. 

Step Four: Installing the Pump 

A surgeon will make an incision located on the side of the abdomen approximately four to six inches below the waistline to create a pocket for the pump. The pump is connected to the extension catheter, and the pump is adjusted under the skin. 

Step Five: Closing the Incisions 

With the catheter and pump in place, the incisions will be stapled or closed with sutures and dressing is applied.

3. What To Expect After Surgery

When a patient wakes up, his or her blood pressure, respiration, pain, and heart rate will be tended to. Many patients are able to go home the same day with written instructions to follow while recovering at home.

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