What are IT Pumps?
Intrathecal pumps, often referred to as IT pumps, are small devices surgically implanted under the skin to deliver medication directly into the spinal fluid. This targeted approach allows the medication to act on the spinal cord’s pain receptors, providing effective relief from chronic pain.
What Can IT Pumps Treat?
IT Pumps are primarily used to treat chronic pain conditions, such as:
Cancer Pain: Particularly in advanced stages where traditional pain relief methods are ineffective.
Spasticity: This includes conditions like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury.
Chronic Non-malignant Pain: Such as failed back surgery syndrome or neuropathic pain.
How is IT Pump Therapy Administered?
The treatment involves two main stages:
Trial Phase: Before the pump is implanted, a trial phase is conducted to assess the patient’s response to the medication and dosage.
Surgical Implantation: If the trial is successful, the pump is surgically implanted under the skin of the abdomen. A catheter connects the pump to the intrathecal space in the spine, where medication is delivered directly.
The pump’s settings can be adjusted externally, allowing personalized treatment that suits each patient’s unique needs.
What Are the Risks?
While IT pump therapy is highly effective, it is essential to recognize potential risks and complications:
Infection: Proper care and monitoring can minimize this risk.
Equipment Malfunction: Regular check-ups are necessary to ensure that the pump and catheter are functioning correctly.
Overdose or Underdose: Careful monitoring is required to ensure that the right dosage is administered.
Surgical Risks: Like all surgical procedures, implanting the IT pump carries risks like bleeding and anesthesia-related complications.
Take the First Step Towards a Pain-Free Life! Living with chronic pain can be debilitating. If you believe that IT Pump Therapy could be the right solution for you or a loved one, we invite you to reach out and schedule an appointment with Dr. Edward Rubin today.