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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 11/8/2011 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Straydog, I am sorry to bother you again, I had wanted to ask you a few questions about your pump, which you seem to very satisfyed with (sorry about any misspells, I get on this and cant remember how to spell even easy words).
Is yours Medtronics, you have had it in a long time, do you know the life of it, like how long before you have to have any surgery, or even if you have to.
Again, sorry, but I know you will tell me the real deal, and since I will not even think about getting the useless neuro stim in my back that does nothing.  I am think about have the pump installed after my daughter gets married in June.  If I hadnt caved when I met with the Medtronics reps, I would  have stood my ground and gotten the pump in the first place, which is what I wanted, but allowed myself to be talked into the stim.
Now that I  have repeated myself several times, its time for me to lay down and try to sleep.
Again, sorry, and please if you answer do it your at your leasure.
Take care, Kathy
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 11/10/2011 5:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kathy,

If it helps, my pump is Medtronics... I've had it about 3 1/2 years now. I was told that it has a life of 5-7 years. This relates to the battery of the pump, but unfortunately when the battery dies, the whole pump needs to be replaced. The surgery itself is kind of similar to the stimulator surgery in terms of pain, but the pump is a lot bigger - it's a good inch thick and maybe three inches across.

CRPS since 1999, diagnosed in 2005 and since spread to full body, spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bone spurs, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, osteopenia.

On Oxycontin/Endone, Topamax, Mobic, Magnesium, Florinef, Midodrine, Somac, Cipramil. Have SCS, intrathecal pump with baclofen & bupivacaine and doing physio

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16799
   Posted 11/10/2011 6:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kathy, yes my pump was put in 2005 and they say the average life span of the battery is 5-7 years. But they can last longer than that, it depends on the flow rate if I understood my nurse correctly. So, I am assuming someone that has one and say they are on a large dose of something means using up more of the battery life if that makes sense. It really is not in concrete with the 5-7 years I think Medtronic uses this as a way to cover their tracks so to speak. In both of my PM drs offices they have had patients with pumps that have lasted longer than this.

I have had a couple of people say that Medtronics has a pump called an IsoMed I believe is the name, I am probably wrong on that, that does not have a battery, its ran off of a gas and does not need replacing unless the unit fails. However, I am not finding this pump to be one that is being implanted for pain control so I can't offer up any good info on that pump at all. My thinking is and I know my current dr for one would be using this pump if it is like the Codman that does not have a battery.

The Codman runs off of gas that is contained within the unit and it does not ever need to be changed out unless the pump fails. This will be my next pump. She says that I am a good candidate for the Codman because we know what meds we can use to keep me stable. It is not a pump for someone that is just starting out with a pump and not stable. I have met 2 patients that have had the Codman for 2 years at her office, actually I met them by accident, could not help over hearing their conversation. Both are very happy with that pump, they say its a little bit bigger than the Medtronics pump but not by much. It does not interfere with them in any way. Once you have had one of these gizzmos implanted, over time you forget you even have it. This Codman is the pump she is having her patients switched to that are stable when its time for replacement.

My nurse told me that she heard Medtronics was suppose to be working on a pump like the Codman here in the future. That I can believe because Medtronics has been the godfather of these implantable things, and I sure don't see them wanting to be left off of the gravy train.

I understand where you are coming from about your SCS unit. You already know my opinion of those things lol. They have a lot of fine tuning that needs to be done and their track record for length of time of working is getting shorter by the day, just not a good deal in my opinion.

The flip side is when you were told about these two different devices, you were like most of us at the time, we went into shock when the good dr first mentioned anything about them. I know I did and flat out refused it. I am one that has to mull it over in my mind, kind of like buying a new car, you walk around kicking the tires, lol.

Never worry about asking questions Kathy, you always put good ones out there. I will answer any question I possibly can. Take care.
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