Intrathecal drug delivery, or “Pain Pump” is a method of delivering medication directly to your spinal fluid. The fluid filled space around your spinal cord is called the subarachnoid or intrathecal space. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows through this area bathing and protecting your brain and spinal cord. An intrathecal drug pump works much more efficiently than oral medication because it delivers medicine directly into the CSF, bypassing the path that oral medication takes through your body.
Dr. Nasser uses a small pump that is surgically placed under the skin of your abdomen and delivers medication through a catheter to the area around your spinal cord. A pain pump is considered the safest way to take pain medication on a long term basis. Because the medication is delivered directly to the spinal fluid, your symptoms can be controlled with a much smaller dose than is needed with oral medication. The goal of a drug pump is to better control your symptoms and to reduce oral medications, therefore reducing their associated side effects, increased flexibility in dosing, fewer office and pharmacy visits.
In Order to Qualify for Surgery:
There are several reasons why Dr. Nasser may recommend a Pain Pump:
- You have had positive response with a trial dose of medication.
- Conservative Therapies have failed.
- You would not benefit from additional surgery.
- You are dependent on pain medication.
- You have no medical condition that would keep you from undergoing implantation.
- You are not allergic to any drugs used in the pump.
Living with a Pain Pump:
You must schedule medication refills on a regular basis with Dr. Nasser. At your refill appointments the effectiveness of your treatment will be assessed and your pump will be adjusted accordingly. The goal is to find the optimal amount of pain control while having minimal side effects.