margok, I have a Medtronic RestoreUltra SCS and I'm one of their biggest fans. I'm should be the goofey infomercial lady that talks about
how it's given me back my life and I don't know how I could ever possibly go back to living the way I was before the implant.
My IPG is implanted in my lower back, just above my waist, and I rarely even notice it's there. The only thing that really bothers me about
having it there is that I have trouble finding it when I need to charge. It's an odd way to twist in order to feel around for it, especially considering twisting isn't something I ought to be doing to begin with. Also, I sleep on my back and the only time I really feel the IPG is if I'm sliding around trying to get comfortable and my skin gets caught/stretched in the process.
I am not medication-free with my stimulator. I use a long-acting medication to bring my pain levels down about
2 notches on the pain scale, which is just enough to let the stimulator take over and control the rest of my pain. I also have breakthrough meds that I can take, if I'm being stupid (also known as doing way too much) and set off a pain flare. I'm stupid quite frequently, but I think the fact that I can be
that stupid and live to tell the tale is a testimonial to my SCS. ;)
As far as which stimulator is better or best, I think currently the Medtronic RestoreUltra and the ANS Eon Mini are pretty comparable to each other. There's no significant size difference between any of the implants anymore and as far as the parameters for delivering the stimulation, the RestoreUltra and the Eon Mini have pretty much the same ranges in every area. The RestoreUltra's battery is FDA approved to last 9 years and the Eon mini is approved for 10 years, which is the longest approval on the market currently. Medtronic and ANS both have a wide array of leads (more than 10 for each company) for the doctors to choose from and both companies offer a tripolar paddle lead now, which is important for people who are hoping for coverage of low back, abdominal, or gynecological pain, because the stimulation needs to be driven deeper into the spinal cord in a way only tripolar stimulation can achieve. And finally, ANS and Medtronic both offer mobile charging, so nobody has to sit tied to a plug to recharge anymore.
In my opinion, Boston Scientific is way behind Medtronic and ANS these days. They haven't made any significant improvements to their implant since it was released in 2004, which astounds me at the rate medical technology is advancing these days. They also have a very limited number of leads to choose from - only 2 types of percutaneous leads and only one paddle leads; they don't have a tripolar lead. They do offer mobile charging and they do have the smallest charger, but I think there's a sacrifice with their charger in that it doesn't provide as much information as Medtronic and ANS to help you recharge most efficiently. Also, their battery is only approved for 5 years, which is the shortest on the market currently.
Now, that's not to say that Boston Scientific's implant doesn't work - I know several people (in my 3-dimensional life) that are perfectly happy with their Boston Scientific stimulators. I also know people who have been unhappy with all 3 brands, for a variety of reasons. (I attend a face to face support group for SCS folks, which is why I know so many.. LOL) For me personally, I couldn't bring myself to choose the Precision Plus implant because I want to know that the company behind my stimulator is constantly researching, making improvements, giving me more options than I could possibly need and supplying me with the most advanced technology available.
tysmyboo, there's a Facebook group called "Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Pain" that has an unusually high concentration of people with occipital nerve stimulators. If you're on FB or willing to sign up, I've found that group to be quite friendly and willing to answer questions, so you might gain some useful insight from them.
Also, here's one article on ONSTIM which was a study funded by Medtronic to collect data on occipital nerve stimulation - wwwp.medtronic.com/Newsroom/NewsReleaseDetails.do?itemId=1214482108297〈=en_US
Post Edited (BionicWoman) : 8/15/2009 9:30:36 AM (GMT-6)