NEUROMODULATION
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GETTING READY FOR YOUR PROCEDURE

If the evaluation period is successful, the next step is to have a system implanted. To receive a device, you will have a surgical procedure that is typically performed in a hospital or surgery center. You may go home the same day. Some patients are asked to stay overnight for observation.

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

Before your implant procedure, your doctor will go over everything you need to know and help answer any remaining questions you may have. Your doctor will also discuss with you what type of generator and leads you’ll receive, as well as where on your body the generator will be implanted (typically the abdomen or buttock area).

Neurostimulation Clipboard icon

PREPARING FOR THE PROCEDURE

In preparation for your procedure, your doctor will want to review a few key things with you such as:

  • When you should stop eating or drinking prior to the procedure (usually a number of hours in advance).
  • What medications you can take and whether you need you stop taking any.
  • What you should wear the day of the procedure (usually loose-fitting and comfortable clothing).
  • That you should shower and bathe before the procedure since you may not be able to do so until your incision are healed. 
  • That you should ask a family memeber or friend to drive you to and from the procedure - due to the medication you'll receive, you'll likely not be allowed to drive yourself home. 

Chronic Pain Stethoscope icon

THINGS YOU SHOULD TALK TO DOCTOR ABOUT BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

In preparation for your procedure, your doctor will want to review a few key things with you such as:

  • Any bad reactions you or your family may have had to anesthesia. 
  • Any allergies you have to medications, food, or other substances. 
  • What medications you are using, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, herbs and supplements. 

Learn more about the procedure to implant your neurostimulator.

DURING THE PROCEDURE

The implant procedure generally takes 1-2 hours. It involves two major parts: placement of the leads and placement of the generator.

Step 1: Preparation

You’ll lie on the operating room table (typically on your stomach) and be given light sedation. Local anesthetic will be used to numb the incisions.

 

Step 2: Placing the leads

The leads are inserted and placed in the area of the spine responsible for your particular type of pain.

 

Step 3: Implanting the generator

The leads are attached to the generator. Then the generator is placed in an area of the body you and your doctor will have decided upon before the procedure.

The doctor will close up the incisions and you’ll be moved to a post-operative recovery area until you are well enough to go home. Before you leave, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your incisions and how to use the programmer to adjust your neurostimulation therapy. 

Learn more about your recovery after the procedure.

 

RECOVERING FROM SURGERY

The weeks following your procedure can be both exciting and a period of adjustment. Your doctor will give instructions about how to care for your incisions, what activities you should avoid, and how you can maintain and use your system to better manage your pain. As with any surgical procedure, your body will need time to heal and adjust after receiving your implant. Recovery usually lasts about six to eight weeks.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD AVOID

During your recovery you’ll likely need to follow some restrictions to help your body heal around the implanted system. Your doctor will advise you when you can resume usual activities. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.

Some restrictions your doctor may give you:

  • Avoid twisting, bending, stretching, or lifting anything heavier than five pounds. These movements can cause the leads to move.
  • Take sponge baths until your doctor gives permission to shower or bathe again.
  • Check with your doctor before having other medical tests or procedures done.
Neurostimulation Caution icon

WHAT YOU SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR

It is important to be mindful of how your body is feeling after your procedure. Your doctor will talk to you about risks, warning signs, and any issues specific to your situation. Call your doctor right away if you notice signs of infection such as fever, chills, excessive drainage, redness, or pain at the incision site.

Neurostimulation Thumps Up Stars icon

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

As you spend time with your neurostimulation system, you will gradually be able to do more of the things you want to do. For a full and speedy recovery, it’s important that you:

  • Get plenty of sleep. 
  • Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. 
  • Attend your follow-up appointments with your doctor so he or she can check on your recovery and ensure that your system is working properly. 
  • Keep your family, friends and caregivers involved - they can help keep your spirits up and make recovery easier. 
  • Start living life again! 

Learn more about living with a neurostimulator 

START YOUR JOURNEY

Learn how neuromodulation can help you achieve better control of your chronic pain symptoms.

FIND A PAIN SPECIALIST

Interested in learning more about neurostimulation for your chronic pain? Search for a doctor in your area who specializes in pain management.

 

TIMOTHY’S AND DEBRA’S CHRONIC PAIN STORIES

Image of Marie’s chronic pain video

Two active-duty soldiers at Fort Bragg share their experiences with chronic pain and neurostimulation.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Spinal Cord Stimulation

 

Prescription and Safety Information

Read this section to gather important prescription and safety information.

 

Intended Use

This neurostimulation system is designed to deliver low-intensity electrical impulses to nerve structures. The system is intended to be used with leads and associated extensions that are compatible with the system.

 

Indications for Use

This neurostimulation system is indicated as an aid in the management of chronic, intractable pain of the trunk and/or limbs, including unilateral or bilateral pain associated with the following: failed back surgery syndrome and intractable low back and leg pain.

 

Contraindications

This system is contraindicated for patients who are unable to operate the system or who have failed to receive effective pain relief during trial stimulation.

 

MRI Safety Information

Some models of this system are Magnetic Resonance (MR) Conditional, and patients with these devices may be scanned safely with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when the conditions for safe scanning are met. For more information about MR Conditional neurostimulation components and systems, including equipment settings, scanning procedures, and a complete listing of conditionally approved components, refer to the MRI procedures clinician's manual for neurostimulation systems (available online at manuals.sjm.com). For more information about MR Conditional products, visit the Abbott product information page at neuromodulation.abbott.

 

Warnings

The following warnings apply to this neurostimulation system.

Poor surgical risks. Neurostimulation should not be used on patients who are poor surgical risks or patients with multiple illnesses or active general infections.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some patients may be implanted with the components that make up a Magnetic Resonance (MR) Conditional system, which allows them to receive an MRI scan if all the requirements for the implanted components and for scanning are met. A physician can help determine if a patient is eligible to receive an MRI scan by following the requirements provided by Abbott Medical. Physicians should also discuss any risks of MRI with patients.

Patients without an MR Conditional neurostimulation system should not be subjected to MRI because the electromagnetic field generated by an MRI may damage the device electronics and induce voltage through the lead that could jolt or shock the patient.

Diathermy therapy. Do not use short-wave diathermy, microwave diathermy, or therapeutic ultrasound diathermy (all now referred to as diathermy) on patients implanted with a neurostimulation system. Energy from diathermy can be transferred through the implanted system and cause tissue damage at the location of the implanted electrodes, resulting in severe injury or death.

Diathermy is further prohibited because it may also damage the neurostimulation system components. This damage could result in loss of therapy, requiring additional surgery for system implantation and replacement. Injury or damage can occur during diathermy treatment whether the neurostimulation system is turned on or off.

Electrosurgery. To avoid harming the patient or damaging the neurostimulation system, do not use monopolar electrosurgery devices on patients with implanted neurostimulation systems. Before using an electrosurgery device, place the device in Surgery Mode using the patient controller app or clinician programmer app. Confirm the neurostimulation system is functioning correctly after the procedure.

During implant procedures, if electrosurgery devices must be used, take the following actions:

Use bipolar electrosurgery only.

Complete any electrosurgery procedures before connecting the leads or extensions to the neurostimulator.

Keep the current paths from the electrosurgery device as far from the neurostimulation system as possible.

Set the electrosurgery device to the lowest possible energy setting.

Confirm that the neurostimulation system is functioning correctly during the implant procedure and before closing the neurostimulator pocket.

Implanted cardiac systems. Physicians need to be aware of the risk and possible interaction between a neurostimulation system and an implanted cardiac system, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. Electrical pulses from a neurostimulation system may interact with the sensing operation of an implanted cardiac system, causing the cardiac system to respond inappropriately. To minimize or prevent the implanted cardiac system from sensing the output of the neurostimulation system, (1) maximize the distance between the implanted systems; (2) verify that the neurostimulation system is not interfering with the functions of the implanted cardiac system; and (3) avoid programming either device in a unipolar mode (using the device’s can as an anode) or using neurostimulation system settings that interfere with the function of the implantable cardiac system.

Pediatric use. Safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation for pediatric use have not been established.

Pregnancy and nursing. Safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation for use during pregnancy and nursing have not been established.

Device components. The use of components not approved for use by Abbott Medical with this system may result in damage to the system and increased risk to the patient.

Case damage. Do not handle the IPG if the case is pierced or ruptured because severe burns could result from exposure to battery chemicals.

IPG disposal. Return all explanted IPGs to Abbott Medical for safe disposal. IPGs contain batteries as well as other potentially hazardous materials. Do not crush, puncture, or burn the IPG because explosion or fire may result.

 

Precautions

The following precautions apply to this neurostimulation system.

 

General Precautions

Clinician training. Implanting physicians should be experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain syndromes and have undergone surgical and device implantation training.

Patient selection. It is extremely important to select patients appropriately for neurostimulation. Thorough psychiatric screening should be performed. Patients should not be dependent on drugs and should be able to operate the neurostimulation system.

Infection. Follow proper infection control procedures. Infections related to system implantation might require that the device be explanted.

Electromagnetic interference (EMI). Some equipment in home, work, medical, and public environments can generate EMI that is strong enough to interfere with the operation of a neurostimulation system or damage system components. Patients should avoid getting too close to these types of EMI sources, which include the following examples: commercial electrical equipment (such as arc welders and induction furnaces), communication equipment (such as microwave transmitters and high-power amateur transmitters), high-voltage power lines, radiofrequency identification (RFID) devices, and some medical procedures (such as therapeutic radiation and electromagnetic lithotripsy).

Security, antitheft, and radiofrequency identification (RFID) devices. Some antitheft devices, such as those used at entrances or exits of department stores, libraries, and other public places, and airport security screening devices may affect stimulation. Additionally, RFID devices, which are often used to read identification badges, as well as some tag deactivation devices, such as those used at payment counters at stores and loan desks at libraries, may also affect stimulation. Patients who are implanted with nonadjacent multiple leads and patients who are sensitive to low stimulation thresholds may experience a momentary increase in their perceived stimulation, which some patients have described as uncomfortable or jolting. Patients should cautiously approach such devices and should request help to bypass them. If they must go through a gate or doorway containing this type of device, patients should turn off their IPG and proceed with caution, being sure to move through the device quickly.

Wireless use restrictions. In some environments, the use of wireless functions (e.g., Bluetooth® wireless technology) may be restricted. Such restrictions may apply aboard airplanes, in hospitals, near explosives, or in hazardous locations. If you are unsure of the policy that applies to the use of this device, please ask for authorization to use it before turning it on. (Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.)

Mobile phones. While interference with mobile phones is not anticipated, technology continues to change and interaction between a neurostimulation system and a mobile phone is possible. Advise patients to contact their physician if they are concerned about their mobile phone interacting with their neurostimulation system.

 

Sterilization and Storage

Single-use, sterile device. The implanted components of this neurostimulation system are intended for a single use only. Sterile components in this kit have been sterilized using ethylene oxide (EtO) gas before shipment and are supplied in sterile packaging to permit direct introduction into the sterile field. Do not resterilize or reimplant an explanted system for any reason.

Storage environment. Store components and their packaging where they will not come in contact with liquids of any kind.

 

Handling and Implementation

Expiration date. An expiration date (or “use-before” date) is printed on the packaging. Do not use the system if the use-before date has expired.

Care and handling of components. Use extreme care when handling system components prior to implantation. Excessive heat, excessive traction, excessive bending, excessive twisting, or the use of sharp instruments may damage and cause failure of the components.

Package or component damage. Do not implant a device if the sterile package or components show signs of damage, if the sterile seal is ruptured, or if contamination is suspected for any reason. Return any suspect components to Abbott Medical for evaluation.

System testing. To ensure correct operation, always test the system during the implant procedure, before closing the neurostimulator pocket, and before the patient leaves the surgery suite.

Device modification. The equipment is not serviceable by the customer. To prevent injury or damage to the system, do not modify the equipment. If needed, return the equipment to Abbott Medical for service.

Hospital and Medical Environments

High-output ultrasonics and lithotripsy. The use of high-output devices, such as an electrohydraulic lithotriptor, may cause damage to the electronic circuitry of an implanted IPG. If lithotripsy must be used, do not focus the energy near the IPG.

Ultrasonic scanning equipment. The use of ultrasonic scanning equipment may cause mechanical damage to an implanted neurostimulation system if used directly over the implanted system.

External defibrillators. The safety of discharge of an external defibrillator on patients with implanted neurostimulation systems has not been established.

Therapeutic radiation. Therapeutic radiation may damage the electronic circuitry of an implanted neurostimulation system, although no testing has been done and no definite information on radiation effects is available. Sources of therapeutic radiation include therapeutic X rays, cobalt machines, and linear accelerators. If radiation therapy is required, the area over the implanted IPG should be shielded with lead. Damage to the system may not be immediately detectable.

 

Adverse Effects

In addition to those risks commonly associated with surgery, the following risks are associated with implanting or using this 

Unpleasant sensations or motor disturbances, including involuntary movement, caused by stimulation at high outputs (If either occurs, turn off your IPG immediately.)

Stimulation in unwanted places (such as radicular stimulation of the chest wall)

Paralysis, weakness, clumsiness, numbness, or pain below the level of the implant

Persistent pain at the IPG site

Seroma (mass or swelling) at the IPG site

Allergic or rejection response to implant materials

Implant migration or skin erosion around the implant

Battery failure

 

Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) Therapy

 

Prescription and Safety Information

Read this section to gather important prescription and safety information.

 

Intended Use

This neurostimulation system is designed to deliver low-intensity electrical impulses to nerve structures. The system is intended to be used with leads and associated extensions that are compatible with the system.

 

Indications for Use

This neurostimulation system is indicated for the management of chronic, intractable pain.

 

Contraindications

This system is contraindicated for patients who are

Unable to operate the system

Poor surgical risks

Pregnant

Under the age of 18

 

MRI Safety Information

Some models of this system are Magnetic Resonance (MR) Conditional, and patients with these devices may be scanned safely with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) when the conditions for safe scanning are met. For more information about MR Conditional neurostimulation components and systems, including equipment settings, scanning procedures, and a complete listing of conditionally approved components, refer to the MRI procedures clinician's manual for neurostimulation systems (available online at manuals.sjm.com). For more information about MR Conditional products, visit the Abbott product information page at neuromodulation.abbott.

 

Warnings

The following warnings apply to this neurostimulation system.

Pregnancy and nursing. Safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation for use during pregnancy and nursing have not been established.

Pediatric use. The safety and effectiveness of neurostimulation for pediatric use have not been established.

External defibrillators. Safety for use of external defibrillator discharges on a patient receiving neurostimulation has not been established. External defibrillation can cause induced currents in the lead-extension portion of the neurostimulation system. After defibrillation, confirm the neurostimulation system is still working

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some patients may be implanted with the components that make up a Magnetic Resonance (MR) Conditional system, which allows them to receive an MRI scan if all the requirements for the implanted components and for scanning are met. A physician can help determine if a patient is eligible to receive an MRI scan by following the requirements provided by Abbott Medical. Physicians should also discuss any risks of MRI with patients.

Patients without an MR Conditional neurostimulation system should not be subjected to MRI because the electromagnetic field generated by an MRI may damage the device electronics, cause heating at the lead tip that could result in tissue damage, and induce voltage through the lead that could jolt or shock the patient.

Diathermy therapy. Do not use short-wave diathermy, microwave diathermy, or therapeutic ultrasound diathermy (all now referred to as diathermy) on patients implanted with a neurostimulation system. Energy from diathermy can be transferred through the implanted system and cause tissue damage at the location of the implanted electrodes, resulting in severe injury or death.

Diathermy is further prohibited because it may also damage the neurostimulation system components. This damage could result in loss of therapy, requiring additional surgery for system implantation and replacement. Injury or damage can occur during diathermy treatment whether the neurostimulation system is turned on or off. Advise patients to inform their healthcare professional that they should not be exposed to diathermy treatment.

Electrosurgery. To avoid harming the patient or damaging the neurostimulation system, do not use monopolar electrosurgery devices on patients with implanted neurostimulation systems. Before using an electrosurgery device, place the device in Surgery Mode using the patient controller app or clinician programmer app. Confirm the neurostimulation system is functioning correctly after the procedure.

During implant procedures, if electrosurgery devices must be used, take the following actions:

Use bipolar electrosurgery only.

Complete any electrosurgery procedures before connecting the leads or extensions to the neurostimulator.

Keep the current paths from the electrosurgery device as far from the neurostimulation system as possible.

Set the electrosurgery device to the lowest possible energy setting.

Confirm that the neurostimulation system is functioning correctly during the implant procedure and before closing the neurostimulator pocket

Implanted cardiac systems. Physicians need to be aware of the risk and possible interaction between a neurostimulation system and an implanted cardiac system, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator. Electrical pulses from a neurostimulation system may interact with the sensing operation of an implanted cardiac system, causing the cardiac system to respond inappropriately. To minimize or prevent the implanted cardiac system from sensing the output of the neurostimulation system, (1) maximize the distance between the implanted systems; (2) verify that the neurostimulation system is not interfering with the functions of the implanted cardiac system; and (3) avoid programming either device in a unipolar mode (using the device’s can as an anode) or using neurostimulation system settings that interfere with the function of the implantable cardiac system

Emergency procedures. Instruct patients to designate a representative (family member or close friend) to notify any emergency medical personnel of their implanted neurostimulation system if emergency care is required. Patients will receive an identification card to carry with them that will inform emergency medical personnel of their implanted system. Advise patients to use caution when undergoing any procedure that could include radiofrequency (RF) or microwave ablation, defibrillation, or cardioversion.

Ultrasonic scanning equipment. The use of ultrasonic scanning equipment may cause mechanical damage to an implanted neurostimulation system if used directly over the implanted system.

Therapeutic radiation. Therapeutic radiation may damage the electronic circuitry of an implanted neurostimulation system, although no testing has been done and no definite information on radiation effects is available. Sources of therapeutic radiation include therapeutic X rays, cobalt machines, and linear accelerators. If radiation therapy is required, the area over the implanted IPG should be shielded with lead. Damage to the system may not be immediately detectable.

Restricted areas. Warn patients to seek medical guidance before entering environments that could adversely affect the operation of the implanted device, including areas protected by a warning notice preventing entry by patients fitted with a pacemaker.

Component manipulation by patients. The patient must be instructed to not rub or exert pressure on implanted components through the skin as this may cause lead dislodgement leading to stimulation at the implant site, IPG inversion leading to the inability to communicate with the device, or skin erosion that can lead to another surgical procedure or possible infection.

Lead movement. Patients should be instructed to avoid bending, twisting, stretching, and lifting objects over 2 kg (5 lb) for at least six weeks after implantation. These activities may cause lead movement, resulting in under stimulation or overstimulation for the patient. Excessive lead migration may require reoperation to replace the leads.

Scuba diving and hyperbaric chambers. Instruct patients to avoid scuba diving and entering hyperbaric chambers above 1.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA) because these activities might damage the neurostimulation system.

Operation of machines, equipment, and vehicles. In the clinical experience with this device, patients have experienced few effects when moving from lying down to sitting up. Therefore, it is unlikely patients will need to adjust stimulation when changing positions or moving. However, advise patients who feel uncomfortable paresthesia during postural changes that they should not operate potentially dangerous equipment such as power tools, automobiles, or other motor vehicles. These patients should not climb ladders or participate in activities where postural changes or abrupt movements could alter the perception of stimulation intensity and cause patients to fall or lose control of equipment or vehicles or injure others.

Explosive and flammable gases. Do not use a clinician programmer or patient controller in an environment where explosive or flammable gas fumes or vapors are present. The operation of these devices could cause them to ignite, causing severe burns, injury, or death.

Keep the device dry. Programmer and controller devices are not waterproof. Keep them dry to avoid damage. Advise patients to not use their device when engaging in activities that might cause it to get wet, such as swimming or bathing.

Device components. The use of components not approved for use by Abbott Medical with this system may result in damage to the system and increased risk to the patient.

Device modification. The equipment is not serviceable by the customer. To prevent injury or damage to the system, do not modify the equipment. If needed, return the equipment to Abbott Medical for service.

Application modification. To prevent unintended stimulation, do not modify the operating system in any way. Do not use the application if the operating system is compromised (i.e., jailbroken).

Case damage. Do not handle the IPG if the case is pierced or ruptured because severe burns could result from exposure to battery chemicals.

IPG disposal. Return all explanted IPGs to Abbott Medical for safe disposal. IPGs contain batteries as well as other potentially hazardous materials. Do not crush, puncture, or burn the IPG because explosion or fire may result.

Product materials. Neurostimulation systems have materials that come in contact or may come in contact with tissue. A physician should determine whether or not a patient may have an allergic reaction to these materials before the system is implanted.

 

Precautions

The following precautions apply to this neurostimulation system.

General Precautions

Clinician training. Implanting physicians should be experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain syndromes and have undergone surgical and device implantation training.

Patient selection. It is extremely important to select patients appropriately for neurostimulation. Thorough psychiatric screening should be performed. Patients should not be dependent on drugs and should be able to operate the neurostimulation system.

Infection. Follow proper infection control procedures. Infections related to system implantation might require that the device be explanted.

Implantation of multiple leads. If multiple leads or extensions are implanted, the leads and extensions should be routed in close proximity. Nonadjacent leads and extensions have the possibility of creating a conduit for stray electromagnetic energy that could cause the patient unwanted stimulation.

High stimulation outputs. Stimulation at high outputs may cause unpleasant sensations or motor disturbances, or render the patient incapable of controlling the stimulator. If unpleasant sensations occur, the device should be turned off immediately.

Postural changes. In the clinical experience with this device, patients have experienced few effects when moving from lying down to sitting up. Therefore, it is unlikely patients will need to adjust stimulation when changing positions or moving. However, some patients may experience a decrease or increase in the perceived level of stimulation. Perception of higher levels of stimulation has been described by some patients as uncomfortable, painful, or jolting. Advise patients who experience these types of stimulation changes to turn down the amplitude or turn off the IPG before making extreme posture changes or abrupt movements such as stretching, lifting their arms over their heads, or exercising. If unpleasant sensations occur, the IPG should be turned off immediately.

Sterilization and Storage

Single-use, sterile device. The implanted components of this neurostimulation system are intended for a single use only. Sterile components in this kit have been sterilized using ethylene oxide (EtO) gas before shipment and are supplied in sterile packaging to permit direct introduction into the sterile field. Do not resterilize or reimplant an explanted system for any reason.

Storage environment. Store components and their packaging where they will not come in contact with liquids of any kind.

Handling and Implementation

Expiration date. An expiration date (or “use-before” date) is printed on the packaging. Do not use the system if the use-before date has expired.

Package or component damage. Before opening any sterile package, verify the kit model number, that the kit is within its expiration (use-before) date, and that the packaging has not been damaged or compromised in any way. If the packaging has been compromised, the device is beyond its expiration date, or the sterile package or device show signs of damage, do not use the device as it may be compromised and could cause harm to the patient. Return any suspect components to Abbott Medical for evaluation.

Handle the device with care. The clinician programmer and patient controller are sensitive electronic devices that can be damaged by rough handling, such as dropping them on the ground.

Lead inspection. Carefully inspect the lead (in the sterile field) for damage after removing it from the sterile package. Damage to the lead body can cause improper function and stimulation or stimulation to areas other than the intended target.

Care and handling of components. Use extreme care when handling system components prior to implantation. Excessive heat, excessive traction, excessive bending, excessive twisting, or the use of sharp instruments may damage and cause failure of the components.

Component handling. Do not bend, kink, or stretch the lead body, sheaths, or other components as this may result in damage to the component and poor function.

Using surgical instruments. Do not use surgical instruments to handle the lead. The force of the instruments may damage the lead or stylet.

Component manipulation. Do not over-manipulate the sheath and lead system as this may result in trauma within the epidural space.

Stylet handling. Do not bend, kink, or use surgical instruments on the stylet, as this may damage it. Use care when reinserting a stylet. Too much pressure on the stylet could damage the lead, resulting in intermittent or loss of stimulation. Remove the stylet from the lead only when satisfied with lead placement. If the stylet is removed from the lead, it may be difficult to reinsert it.

Sheath insertion precaution. Do not insert the sheath into the epidural space without the lead or guidewire inserted, as this may cause injury to the dura.

Stabilizing the lead during insertion. When inserting the lead-sheath assembly through the needle into the epidural space, tighten the lead stabilizer to prevent lead migration out of the sheath. Failure to do so may cause harm to the patient such as damage to the dura.

Bending the sheath. Do not bend the sheath without the lead inside the sheath, as this will permanently kink it and make it difficult to deploy the lead.

Lead handling. If the operating field is bloody, wipe gloves, lead, stylet, and sheath before handling the lead. Failure to do so may result in difficulty delivering the lead.

Exposure to body fluids or saline. Prior to connection, exposure of the metal contacts, such as those on the connection end of a lead or extension, to body fluids or saline can lead to corrosion. If such exposure occurs, clean the affected parts with sterile, deionized water or sterile water for irrigation, and dry them completely prior to lead connection and implantation.

System testing. To ensure correct operation, always test the system during the implant procedure, before closing the neurostimulator pocket, and before the patient leaves the surgery suite.

Component disposal. Return all explanted components to Abbott Medical for safe disposal.  

Hospital and Medical Environments

High-output ultrasonics and lithotripsy. The use of high-output devices, such as an electrohydraulic lithotriptor, may cause damage to the electronic circuitry of an implanted IPG. If lithotripsy must be used, do not focus the energy near the IPG.

Home and Occupational Environments

Electromagnetic interference (EMI). Some equipment in home, work, medical, and public environments can generate EMI that is strong enough to interfere with the operation of a neurostimulation system or damage system components. Patients should avoid getting too close to these types of EMI sources, which include the following examples: commercial electrical equipment (such as arc welders and induction furnaces), communication equipment (such as microwave transmitters and high-power amateur transmitters), high-voltage power lines, radiofrequency identification (RFID) devices, some medical procedures (such as therapeutic radiation, static magnetic field [SMF] therapy, and electromagnetic lithotripsy), and some medical devices (such as bone growth stimulators, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS] devices, dental drills, and ultrasonic probes).  

Wireless use restrictions. In some environments, the use of wireless functions (e.g., Bluetooth® wireless technology) may be restricted. Such restrictions may apply aboard airplanes, in hospitals, near explosives, or in hazardous locations. If you are unsure of the policy that applies to the use of this device, please ask for authorization to use it before turning it on. (Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.)

Security, antitheft, and radiofrequency identification (RFID) devices. Some antitheft devices, such as those used at entrances or exits of department stores, libraries, and other public places, and airport security screening devices may affect stimulation. Additionally, RFID devices, which are often used to read identification badges, as well as some tag deactivation devices, such as those used at payment counters at stores and loan desks at libraries, may also affect stimulation. Patients who are implanted with nonadjacent multiple leads and patients who are sensitive to low stimulation thresholds may experience a momentary increase in their perceived stimulation, which some patients have described as uncomfortable or jolting. Patients should cautiously approach such devices and should request help to bypass them. If they must go through a gate or doorway containing this type of device, patients should turn off their IPG and proceed with caution, being sure to move through the device quickly.

Mobile phones. While interference with mobile phones is not anticipated, technology continues to change and interaction between a neurostimulation system and a mobile phone is possible. Advise patients to contact their physician if they are concerned about their mobile phone interacting with their neurostimulation system.

 

Adverse Effects

In addition to those risks commonly associated with surgery, the following risks are associated with using this neurostimulation system:

Unpleasant sensations or motor disturbances, including involuntary movement, caused by stimulation at high outputs (if either occurs, turn off your IPG immediately.)

Undesirable changes in stimulation, which may be related to cellular changes in tissue around the electrodes, changes in electrode position, loose electrical connections, or lead failure or breakage

Stimulation in unwanted places (such as stimulation of the chest wall)

Lead migration, causing changes in stimulation or reduced pain relief

Epidural hemorrhage, hematoma, infection, spinal cord compression, or paralysis from placement of a lead in the epidural space

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage

Tissue damage or nerve damage

Paralysis, weakness, clumsiness, numbness, sensory loss, or pain below the level of the implant

Pain or bleeding where the needle was inserted

Persistent pain at the electrode or IPG site

Escalating pain

Seroma (mass or swelling) at the implant site  

Headache

Allergic or rejection response to device or implant materials

Implant migration or skin erosion around the implant

Battery failure, leakage, or both

Hardware malfunction that requires replacing the neurostimulator

Pain from a noninjurious stimulus to the skin or an exaggerated sense of pain

Additional risks to the patients, as a result of the placement and stimulation of the lead in the area of the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), include pain from setting the stimulation parameters too high. This may occur once the lead is in place and is connected to the neurostimulator and activated. The neurostimulator is controlled by a trained operator and the starting point for the stimulation will be set to the lowest available settings. Additionally, all patients will be awake and conversant during the procedure to minimize the impact.

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