I would suggest talking to the technical support people (NOT just the regular reps) at whatever company you are considering. I can tell you that I have a 6 yr old Medtronics unit (I believe that it is the Medtronic Restore Ultra), and I am NOT allowed to have MRI's. I actually had a very detailed conversation with Medtronics about
this issue just a month or so ago, as I am a veterinary student about
to start my clinical rotations, and I needed to know exactly what the safety margin was for me in regards to working around MRI machines (knew I couldn't have an MR myself, but needed to know whether or not it was even safe to be around the magnet when it was not actively scanning). I was told by the two technicians I spoke to on the phone, that the unit cannot be exposed to magnetic fields of greater than 10 gauss, as it could 1) irreversibly destroy the unit's programing, and 2) heat up & give me one hell of an electrical shock. I just met with the hospital director/chief of radiology here this week to find out where the 10 gauss line is, and it turns out that not only can I not go in the room with the MR unit, but I cannot go into the control room, nor can I even get within about
20 ft of the MR room from the hallway (that's how strong and penetrating the magnetic field is)!
Now, my unit is 6 yrs old, and they may have improved them since then. But that being said, my guess is that even if you do find a "MR safe unit," they still aren't going to want you to get MRI's of the area where the unit & leads are implanted. They'd probably only approve them as safe for MR's of things like heads (if the unit is in your back) or distal extremities, and my guess is that they'd be limited to low-field MR machines (lower strength magnet). But again, it is something that you are going to have to clarify with whatever company you choose. And one other potential problem with MRI's is that even if it was 100% safe to MR your back with an SCS implanted, there is no way that they are going to be able to get a good image, because even the teeniest tiniest fragment of metal (think a tiny metal shaving from the tip of a nail, barely visible on radiographs) causes a HUGE artifact on MR that basically obscures everything in the vicinity. So the SCS leads and battery are likely to cause an ENORMOUS susceptibility artifact, basically making the MRI completely worthless.
Post Edited (skeye) : 3/17/2016 7:02:22 PM (GMT-6)