Intrathecal Pump

What is an Intrathecal Pump?

An intrathecal pump is known as a ‘pain pump’. It’s a unique way of directly administering medication to a recipient’s spinal cord. The method utilizes a small pump that’s surgically inserted beneath the skin of the abdomen and then is programmed to deliver a certain amount of medication via a catheter to the key area near the spinal cord, much like an epidural that some women use during childbirth. If all other conventional methods have failed in order to effectively relieve long-term symptoms, a pain pump could be a possible alternative. Since the medication is directly delivered to your spinal cord, the symptoms can be adequately controlled using much smaller doses vs. taking oral medication. The primary objective of a pain pump is to gain better control over your pain symptoms and to ultimately decrease oral medications, therefore reducing their related side effects as well.

Intrathecal Drug Pump

The space that surrounds the spinal cord is known as the intrathecal or subarachnoid space. CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) flows along this specific area, washing and protecting both your spinal cord and brain. An intrathecal pump is more efficient than taking medication orally since it delivers the necessary medicine directly into your CSF, thus bypassing the typical route that oral medication normally travels throughout the body.

How Intrathecal Drug Pumps Work

An intrathecal drug pump is designed to slowly release the medication over a certain period of time as well as be programmed to release various amounts of medication at various times throughout the day, according to your particular needs as they may change. The pump itself stores the key information regarding your prescription into its memory, whereby your doctor can simply review the data using the programmer. Once the reservoir empties, the nurse or doctor refills the pump by carefully inserting a needle into your skin and then into the fill port located near the top of the reservoir. If you ever decide you want the pump removed, the therapy is easily reversible.

Who is a Good Candidate for an Intrathecal Pump?

Anyone who meets the following criteria may be a potential candidate for an intrathecal pain pump:

  • If additional surgery isn’t beneficial
  • Other traditional therapies have failed
  • You have a dependency on pain medication
  • You aren’t allergic to any medications delivered by the pain pump
  • You are free of any psychological problems or concerns
  • Your trial medication dose using the pump was successful
  • You are free of any medical disorders that would otherwise not allow you to receive a pain pump implantation

V. K. Puppala, M.D. serves many patients in the Atlanta, GA area with great respect and compassion and is very concerned about their overall well-being and general health. Dr. Puppala takes a multi-modal approach by using a variety of minimally invasive techniques in order to help his patients reach optimal health. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN today to set up an appointment.

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Contact Us Today

Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Puppala at his practice in Lithia Springs, Georgia.