Before having a pump removed a patient should be weaned down off of the medications used in the pump. The dr has a responsibility of weaning you off of the medications. You cannot just stop having it filled because the withdrawals from the opioids would land you in the hospital. Even with a pump we are not ever pain free, there is no such thing of being pain free as a chronic pain patient. My thinking is you were on the higher end of oral pain meds prior to the pump being put in. You will not be given those doses again once the pump is no longer activated.
I suggest that when you are due for your refill you sit down calmly & explain why you want the pump removed. At that appt he can start reducing the dose in your pump. Word of caution, it takes months to wean off of a pump. The medications used in pumps is much more stronger than any oral narcotic you have ever taken. I am not sure who told you about
the long term use of the two medications not being good. Also, oral meds pass through the liver, pumps meds do not. By no means am I trying to talk you out of having the pump either turned off or taken out, you need to be aware of the grave changes for chronic pain patients.
If your kidney function tests show nothing going on with the kidneys, I would not use that as a key element of wanting the pump out. If you sit with your feet down a lot during the day this will cause swelling. Your pcp can order a doppler of your legs to check your circulation. If the swelling is bad enough your pcp can give you a mild diuretic for the swelling to be used as needed. Compression hose are another option.
Do you have a plan in place for pain mgt once you have weaned off the pump? I will caution you that you will not like the environment of treatment of chronic pain & oral opioids. The government is calling all of the shots & the drs are going by their guidelines. Chronic pain patients have had their oral medications stopped all together or the dosage greatly reduced. This has hit across the country & has been going on for several years. Since you are on Medicare, go into their website & read there about
Also, you can call Medtronics on their 800 number & tell them you are wanting to be weaned off the pump & it taken out. They may be able to give you a list of PM drs in your area that can help with this. I do not know what all it would involve changing PM drs but feel a referral would be needed.
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Post Edited (straydog) : 8/22/2017 11:00:43 AM (GMT-6)