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Thread: Removal of a pain pump

  1. #1

    Removal of a pain pump

    Hi All;

    I guess I should have said a catheter removal, but here goes.

    I have had a possible spinal fluid leak (for 11 months now). It was finally found at the site where my pain pump catheter enters the spinal column by a Nuclear CT Scan study that covered three days. It showed there is a leak in the lumbar area but it does not give the definite/precise position of the actual leak.

    The doctor that will have to do the surgery doesn't actually believe that the leak is there! He doesn't recommend the catheter replacement surgery, but will do it.

    I'm worried that there will be a leak at the opening that will be left if the old catheter has to be removed, as he'll put the new one in another site. He mentioned placing a "stitch" in the tissue surrounding the tube but he also noted that he can't repair any leaks in the "Dura" as he "doesn't go down that far" I'm scared that I'll be worse off after the surgury then now!

    Does anyone know where I could download the actual Medtronic surgery procedure for removing a pump, as that may tell me how the old catheter opening should be sealed. I can then argue with the man to make sure her at least follows instructions.

    Thanks

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Hi Jeff-
    IMHO you need a different doctor...I don't know much about these pumps, but it sure does sound like this dr is not experienced enough to do the surgery that you need...Get a second opinion before you go into surgery.


    This thread should probably be moved to the CARE forum, it will get a lot more appropriate attention there. You can ask a moderator to move it for you.
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey M West
    Hi All;

    I guess I should have said a catheter removal, but here goes.

    I have had a possible spinal fluid leak (for 11 months now). It was finally found at the site where my pain pump catheter enters the spinal column by a Nuclear CT Scan study that covered three days. It showed there is a leak in the lumbar area but it does not give the definite/precise position of the actual leak.

    The doctor that will have to do the surgery doesn't actually believe that the leak is there! He doesn't recommend the catheter replacement surgery, but will do it.

    I'm worried that there will be a leak at the opening that will be left if the old catheter has to be removed, as he'll put the new one in another site. He mentioned placing a "stitch" in the tissue surrounding the tube but he also noted that he can't repair any leaks in the "Dura" as he "doesn't go down that far" I'm scared that I'll be worse off after the surgury then now!

    Does anyone know where I could download the actual Medtronic surgery procedure for removing a pump, as that may tell me how the old catheter opening should be sealed. I can then argue with the man to make sure her at least follows instructions.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff, why don't you ask the doctor for his procedure? That would seem to be the simplest and most straightforward. There are ways of dealing with a CSF leak (such as putting a piece of fat on it, sewing it up, etc.). I have not seen a detailed description from Medtronics as to how it should be done.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    You might ask that a medtronic rep be there for the surgery. I know they're there for pump replacements, as I just had one done yesterday.

    I had a leaking catheter on my first pump a decade or so ago, and they replaced the catheter with no more leaking/spasticity problems. There was a medtronic rep there, as in my case also there were some medical professionals who didn't even believe the damned thing was leaking, and here I was bouncing around with out of control spasticity. Once the new catheter was in place, everything was cool once again.

    The doctor most experienced in reading the dye test they did to discover the leak is who I went with, and he was right. The other doctors didn't believe it, so it's hard when you have different doctors telling you different things.

    good luck
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  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I know when I had a trial for a pump the Medtronic representative was very involved both with the doctor and with me on the phone. So it would seem to me that any doctor involved with removing a pump would have a very close working arrangement with Medtronics and would be able to get you any information you need. If he says that he can't I would consider that a good reason to find another doctor. If you want to get a recommendation for another doctor, you can contact the Medtronics website and ask for a list of doctors who are qualified to work with their equipment.
    mike

  6. #6
    I agree that discussing your concerns with your doctor is best. If this doesn't work toyour satisfaction, you may consider contacted teh rep to get a second opinion referral. Our Medtronic rep is aware of experienced surgeons in the area. Unfortunately, that doesn't guarentee the outcome you want, but experience does definitely help.

    AAD

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