You don't have to live with it if you have unbearable pain because of a disease or injury. At Alaska Pain to Wellness Center in Anchorage, pain management specialists Alaska, Greg Wilkinson, PA-C, M.Ed, Steve Johnson, MD, and their team offer intrathecal pain pump implants to give you long-lasting, effective pain relief. Call the office to learn more or book an appointment online today.
Intrathecal pain pump implants, or pain pumps, are systems consisting of tiny implantable pumps that deliver medicine to your spinal cord to reduce discomfort. Your specialist often places the pump under the skin of your abdomen to deliver medication through a catheter. Choosing this method of pain relief means you need less pain medicine versus taking oral medication.
A pain pump works by slowly releasing medicine into your body over time. When the medicine runs out, your pain specialist can refill the pump using a needle that they place through your skin. If you don’t need the pump in the future, your provider can easily remove it.
The Alaska Pain to Wellness Center team may recommend an intrathecal pain pump implant if conservative treatments haven’t worked and you struggle with one or more of the following conditions:
The Alaska Pain to Wellness Center team tailors each pain treatment using the least invasive approach that matches your needs.
To find out if you’re a candidate for an intrathecal pain pump implant, your specialist discusses your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history. They complete a physical exam, check your vital signs, and may order blood tests, nerve testing, heart-function tests, X-rays, or other imaging procedures.
Before receiving a permanent intrathecal pain pump implant, you undergo a trial procedure to see if the device effectively reduces your discomfort. You might receive a single injection, multiple injections, or a catheter connected to a pump. If the medicine used in the trial reduces your pain, you may be a candidate for a permanent pain pump implantation.
To prepare for intrathecal pain pump implantation, follow your provider’s instructions. Avoid food and drinks the morning of the procedure, and stop taking certain medicines if your specialist asks you to. Arrange for someone to drive you home afterward.
The Alaska Pain to Wellness Center team gives you anesthesia to make you feel comfortable or help you fall asleep. Your pain specialist makes a small incision to place a catheter and pump in the proper position before closing your incision with sutures or staples and sterile dressings.
After the procedure, have someone drive you home. Follow your post-procedure instructions by taking medications as directed, drinking lots of water, eating nutritious foods, and icing the treatment area. Take it easy until your provider gives you the OK to resume strenuous activities and attend follow-up visits with the Alaska Pain to Wellness Center team.
To find out if you’re a candidate for intrathecal pain pump implant placement, call the Alaska Pain to Wellness Center office or use the online scheduler today.