Intrathecal Drug Delivery System to Ease Your Pain
Intrathecal drug therapy is used for a wide range of conditions, for example, rheumatoid arthritis of the back and neck, vomiting, severe stomach pain, ineffective back and neck procedures, cancer and reflex sensitivity or complex regional pain syndrome. This treatment method can be prescribed by your doctor if you have failed to the pain by other treatments or if you do not tolerate other treatments.
What is intrathecal drug delivery?
Intrathecal drug delivery system, called also the "pain pump," is administered directly to the backbone using a small pump. The pump is located underneath the abdominal skin and supplies the area surrounding the spinal cord with pain relief treatment with the help of a catheter.
As pain medicines are administered to the spinal cortex directly, they can be more powerful than oral drugs that need to pass the body before you reach the spinal cord. The machine can also treat the pain at slightly lower doses that reduce side-effects.
Many patients have a trial test before implanting a permanent pain pump to assess if they are a good candidate for a permanent pump. This typically includes inserting a spinal catheter on a temporary needle and then remaining for several days during pain relief. For other cases, an outpatient injection of a single or a series of pain medication is given in the spine. You may be given a permanent spinal medicine pump if the pain is better managed or if side effects from your normal pain treatment are increased.
Just arrange that someone drives you home after the operation because, at least 24 hours after the operation, you won't be able to access or operate your machinery. Depending on the situation, you may want to stay in the hospital throughout the night. Should not drink or eat something, except for a small amount of tea, when medications are to be taken on the day of operation after midnight before the procedure.
You will change the dose of insulin on the day of the operation if you have diabetes or as suggested by your doctor. For any necessary changes, consult a doctor who administers insulin or diabetes medications. Carry your prescription with you to use after the treatment. If you take anti-platelet or blood-thinning drugs, the doctor who treats them will advise you to avoid them with the permission of the concerned doctor. Carry all medications so that after the treatment you can consume them. It is necessary to note: without consultations with your primary doctor or referring doctor you do not avoid taking any medicine.
How does an intrathecal pain pump work?
During implantation, you undergo general anesthesia or sedation. The catheter which is a thin plastic tube that can be inserted in the intrathecal space around the spinal cord with a small opening created in the spine. An incision is made on the belly's side below the waistline to insert the pump and to bring the catheter into the pump's pockets from the back under the skin. The pump is a hockey puck-size round metal tool. When the pump is placed right, sutures or staples close the incisions in the back and abdomen.
The pump is scheduled to release medicines gradually throughout a period. This can also be configured to release varying quantities of drugs at different times of the day according to your requirements. The pump retains any drug details in the database and your doctor can conveniently check it with the programmer. If the tank is empty, the doctor or nurse recharges the pump by sticking the needle into the fill port below your skin.
Post - Therapy
It is rare to encounter adverse side effects and health problems. Pain at the insertion site is by far the most frequent problem. In order to relieve the pain, the doctor must give you pain killers. The doctor will determine when the daily activities can be resumed.
Do not bend, twist, stretch, lift bulky things, climb several stairs, or stand for longer durations sit for 6-8 weeks after surgery. Sleep on your butt and do not raise your hand above your head. This will make sure that the intrathecal drug delivery system doesn’t move out of its place.
Intrathecal therapy may improve the quality of life of patients with chronic recurring pain in spite of the risks involved. Intrathecal antibiotics therapy can save lives in CNS infections, and intrathecal enzyme delivery can provide patients with incurable genetic disorders, as current clinical studies plan to prove.
Read more about Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems here.