When a spinal cord stimulation candidate completes a trial, he returns to the office for another evaluation with the pain physician to remove the leads and discuss whether the device was successful in dulling the patient’s pain.
If the doctor and patient determine permanent implantation is appropriate, the procedure is performed under sedation or general anesthesia – typically in a hospital or surgery center.
One or more permanent leads are inserted through an epidural needle or a small incision into the epidural space. Next, a small incision is made, and the implantable pulse generator battery is positioned beneath the skin. It is most often implanted near the buttocks or the abdomen. The leads are then connected to the implantable pulse generator battery. The implant’s electrical pulses are programmed with an external wireless programmer which allows the patient control in turning the system on or off; adjusting the power level; and switching between programs.