Welcome to HW. Honestly, I think that most of those are questions best left to your surgeon. I'm actually just finishing up a trial of a trigeminal nerve stimulator (in my face) & am having the permanent implant done tomorrow. Each surgeon does things differently, but for my trial, I was asleep when the temporary leads were placed (they used sedation, not general anesthesia, but I don't remember a thing). It was an outpatient procedure & the amount of time under anesthesia was minimal (probably the prep took longer than the actual electrode placement). The surgery for the actual internalization of the device (what i'm having done tomorrow), will be longer.
Obviously we are talking about
different body parts, but for me placement of the temporary electrodes was minimally painful. I just felt like I had a bad headache for a couple of days post-op. Occasionally, I took an OTC pain reliever, but mostly, I was fine without taking anything.
As for visibility of the leads, the leads in my face are visible upon close inspection (aka you could find them if you were looking for them, but if not, you probably wouldn't notice them). Mostly, you can only see the tips of the leads, not the entire thing.
You will have restrictions during the trial period (mine was 7 days long, but I've heard that they can be anywhere from 3 - 10 days in length). For example, I am not allowed to shower or wash my hair (of course this is all during the hottest week of the summer so far). I'm also not allowed to exercise or lift anything heavy. I expect that I'll have a lifting restriction for a few weeks after surgery (as my battery will be implanted in my chest, although I'd expect that yours will probably be in your abdomen or butt), but in the long run, there isn't much restriction (except you can't have an MRI).
I really don't know anything about
the leads slipping, although I guess that that can happen. They do get anchored in place, so I'd think that lead slippage is rare.
I hope you find my experiences helpful. Obviously there will be some differences, as your stimulator will be for a different area. Feel free to contact me with any other questions. I'll do what I can to help, but I'm certainly not an expert about
stimulators. There are people on this forum who have had them for way longer than I have & probably know much more about
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/8/2010 4:53:22 PM (GMT-6)