I'm just going to throw this out there for you, Scarred, to save you some time...
You're at the beginning of the SCS process, so you're going to find out really soon that you can't get a straight answer from other SCSers about
most of the questions you have asked. It's not that people are trying to be obtuse - it's that it seems like every single doctor has their own very specific way of doing things, and they all seem to be married to their way as the only
When I began, the doctor I was seeing told me that it was impossible
to do the trial without very heavy sedation and that most of his patients have no memory of the procedure. In fact, his standard protocol involved bringing in a second anesthesiologist just to take care of the sedation aspect, so that he could focus his attention on getting the leads in place properly. He did the trial procedure in a full OR at the hospital and required an overnight stay, with 24 hours of IV antibiotics and a 14-day course of oral antibiotics beginning at discharge. I also think he had a somewhat unnatural attachment to a particular brand of stimulator and he wouldn't even entertain my questions about
the things I was researching if it involved a brand-to-brand comparison.
As it happened, I had a somewhat unrelated problem with that doctor before my trial procedure and I ended up switching to a new pain management specialist.
At my first appointment, I recited all the information I already "knew" about
the trial and the permanent implant - and he spent most of the time rolling his eyes and chuckling at me. Then he told me everything my previous doctor told me was hovering right between wrong and ludicrous.
a month later, my trial was done in the procedure suite of my new doctor's clinic. My doctor doesn't use antibiotics before, during, or after the trial procedure. I had absolutely no sedation and only a local anesthetic where my leads went in. It took about
20 minutes for my doctor to wash me down, numb me up, get the leads placed, confirm the coverage, and tape me up. It took about
10 more minutes for my Medtronic rep to set me up with 4 programs to switch between during my 5-day trial and make sure I understood the remote control. When I walked into the lobby after the procedure, my family member/driver thought the procedure had been canceled, because it was so quick and I looked so normal!
For my permanent implant, percutaneous leads weren't an option, so that procedure was done by a neurosurgeon. I have the Medtronic RestoreUltra with a Specify 5-6-5 paddle lead (with that lead, you only get one lead with 16 electrodes on the paddle) and it was implanted at T7/T8 through an
open laminectomy. My permanent implant was done outpatient; I was in and out of the hospital in less than 12 hours.
The reason I bring it up is not to hijack the thread, but to point out that all of these doctors have their own version of what's reality and what's hovering between wrong and ludicrous. Make sure you ask your doctor
every question that comes into your head, so you can find out what protocol he's married to and which stimulator company he has an unnatural attachment to.
Post Edited (BionicWoman) : 3/11/2009 1:12:39 AM (GMT-6)