An intrathecal pain pump is a small medical device that is surgically placed under the skin of your abdomen. The pump delivers medication through a catheter to the area around your spinal cord. Because the drug is delivered directly to the pain area, your symptoms can be controlled with a much smaller dose than is needed with oral medication. Thus reducing the side effects of medication.
The pain pump consists of two parts: 1) the pump (reservoir) that holds pain medication, and 2) the medication tubing (catheter) that carries pain medication to the spinal cord nerves. Pain signals are nullified by targeted pain medication before reaching the brain.
◦ Reduces the need for oral medications
◦ Reduces the side effects associated with oral medications (vomiting, sleepiness, upset stomach, constipation, etc.)
◦ Trial is completed for four-seven days to determine the effectiveness of the therapy
◦ Outpatient procedure with little recovery time needed
◦ Patient-controlled programmer allows for pre-set parameters to control breakthrough pain
Oral and IV pain medications are absorbed into every part of your body, which can cause unwanted side effects. Most of the medication from the intrathecal pump goes directly to your spinal nerves, which means less medication and fewer side effects.
This method offers dramatic pain management with doses smaller than would be required with oral medication because the medication is delivered directly to where pain signals travel.