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Considering Boston Scientific SCS Precision Plus

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Management
Hello - relative newbie - been fighting chronic low back pain for 7+ years with little success. Have had 2 IDET procedures on L4-L5, L5-S1 (first one provided 18 months relief, 2nd one - nothing). Have consulted 6+ orthopedic and neurosurgeons for spinal fusion to many other procedures found here. Two neurosurgeons suggest NO surgery and consult a physiatrist (neuro). Many injections, etc, PT, but living on horrible pain meds - i.e. NO LIFE.

Offered a trial with Boston Scientific SCS Precision Plus. Seems to be a bit more optimal than the Medtronic products. Has anyone done a viable comparison of brands? Other questions:

1) Is a lamenectomy really the only way to insert the wires into the spinal cord area? Seems intrusive.

2) Once implanted, is there anything outside of the body? Posts here are confusing.

3) Any data on short and long term success? Does the pain mgmt require constant tweaking or over time do you have to increase time and intensity of modulation to get same effect?

4) Anyone have a Boston Scientific SCS Precision Plus testimonial?



  • you may not have heard your dr correctly when he said laminectomy. i'm having my ADS scs inserted in a week . i was told they will do a laminotomy which is only a partial laminectomy and far less invasive.
    as far as i have heard from my dr after the insertion nothing sticks out. it is all under your skin.
    I HAVE READ MANY POSTS HEREon spine health and folks need adjustment in their programs now and then. the good thing is that as the companies develop new programs those new capabilities can be given to you in order to further provide pain relief.
    i am getting a paddle with 3 leads. would the BOSTON SCIENTIFIC have 3 leads?....pete
  • Hi,
    I have two Precision Plus SCS implants. As far as equipment outside of the body goes,you will have a remote control that is wireless. You will use it to increase or decrease the stimulation and to change programs. You will have 4 programs to choose from. You will have a battery charging unit. They call it a base station. I keep mine plugged into an electrical outlet all the time. When you need to charge your battery, you will place the charger over your implant. It takes me a about 3 hours every few days to keep fully charged. I had my first SCS about 4 years ago and it still works pretty good. My new one was put in in June. It still needs reprogramming. Good luck with your trial. I wish you all the best!
  • I don't have the SCS yet, but my Dr. will be using the BS Precision Plus for my trial in the beginning of October. He works with several different models, but he felt that he could best address my issues with low back and leg pain with this model. He left the choice of models up to me, but I decided to go with what he thought would help me the most. If that one doesn't work, he can try a different model.

    You will find a lot of differing opinions on this board regarding different models. I think a lot depends on where your pain is and what your Dr. is most comfortable with using.

    You do have wires and the battery outside your body for the trial, but they inplant them internally for the permanent SCS. You will have a remote for both the trial and permanent model.
  • I just had my implant done. I know the procedure sounds painful...but for me it wasn't as bad as the pain I lived with daily. You I typed that right LIVED. Although I have some pain from the sugery site and they had to make four (4) incessions on me...I can tell a huge difference already. My doctor said that tweaking is really in the first 8 weeks because of the swelling and changes in times and where you hurt. I know I can't say 100% of the time my pain is this spot...it moves throughout the day. After 8 weeks it said I will only have to come in for tweaking when I feel it is necessary. No I don't know have the Boston Scientific...I have ANS Eon Mini smallest and largest battery life on market...so they say. They can't give you a written statement that it will last this many years and so many days. It is a matter of how much you use it and if you take care of the system like they reccommend. Sorry about spelling today...just not in a mood to proof read I guess. Anyhow...I like others here feel that doctors choose what is best for your situation. I don't have back pain...I have chronic pelvic pain that has changed my life...and with my implant, 5 days out, I see my life is returning to what it once was...pain free. There is nothing on the outside of my body. I have a wireless programmer that turns the unit on and off or up and down...and a charger that charges my implanted battery. Compared to the hours of not being a part of my family and the time to go to physical therapy and runing to pick up pain meds...it is a small price to pay to take care of these things that are giving me my life back. If you need any further information and I can provide it...just send me a message and I will answer you ASAP. I can even send you some pictures of the surgery site and you will see it isn't that bad.
  • I am unclear if all the docs say no surgery, but wanted to make sure you understand that a SCS is only for when you are not a surgical candidate.

    I had a perm one of this brand implanted 8/28. I am anxiously awaiting my first "tweaking" when the leads are a bit more stable when the scar tissue forms. So far, my biggest complaint(I understand about the variability of stimulation until scar tissue forms) is charging.

    I hate charging. Until incision is nice and healed, you must use a velcro belt to charge. As a woman, my battery was implanted below my belt line in my upper buttocks so I have to adjust the belt to that spot. The area has to be kept well ventilated(no pillows and blankets) while charging or the charger heats up to 106 degrees and then shuts itself off. So, you think you are charging when you aren't. Also, you must have the charger centered on battery to get optimal charging time.

    Point is, right now I have to lay still on couch and watch TV or sit on SH chat while I charge. I hope this gets better when I can use the sticky patches instead of the belt.

    Otherwise, I am very happy with the Boston Scientific Precision Plus. It gives me NO back pain coverage, but I was told up front that no model would(long story on my problems.) I like the very small battery and the program options. I would agree with the others, tho, that I think so much depends on getting a rep that is patient and empathetic and willing to work with you.
  • I have my 2nd SCS and this one is an Advanced Neuromodulation's Systems. My 1st one was a Medtronics. I see not real difference in how they work other than they both can go dead long before you think they should. The 1st SCS lasted 4 yrs and I have my SCS' on 24/7. I rarely change them unless I am turning it up to go see the Orthopaedic Dr or to turn the unit off then back on due to a medical procedure including CT Scans. The ANS unit I now have is barely 2 yrs old it is the Eon rechargeable system. I just had a re implantation of a Medtronics Pain Pump and somehow something caused my entire SCS to stop completely working All I get when I try to turn it on is System Disabled and an error code. I am told the error code is an interference code but when there is nothing to interfere with it I still cannot get it to turn on. Now I will have to go let them open me up again direct test the unit but my Dr's say no matter what the unit will come out and a complete new unit will go in. I am going to have to also change leads this time. My original leads are the wire type percutaneous they can put in with a needle type guide. The paddle leads they usually have to do a Laminectomy (remove a piece of spine bone) to get the paddle leads in place. I need the stimulation in both of my legs and the smaller leads just did not do well for me I got really good stimulation on 1 side and just barely on the other side and in my case the side that I do not get the better stimulation is my worse leg. Therefore they are going to put in the paddle leads and that requires several small incisions and a longer recovery time. The normal leads you can have the entire system put in outpatient and you just have to be careful the 1st 6 mos in lifting anything heavy and also in bending over. You do not want to slip a leads or then it will not work well for you if at all. I have had friends who have had even different company SCS systems and they all seem to be about the same in how they work and how long they work for before you have to get a new internal generator. They used to only last approx. 5 yrs now they claim you can get a rechargeable unit to go 10 yrs but so far I have not seen one go for more than 4 yrs. It is not considered major surgery if they do not put in the paddle leads and have to do a Laminectomy.
  • Thanks to you all for your honest assessment of your experience. Have been told by 2 neurosurgeons no surgery is advised (only DDD is diagnosed - no obvious herniations, etc), but the pain is real as you all know. This is really our last hope at this time as no other procedures, injections, PT has been effective and the pain is so bad any progress with PT is short lived. When we looked at the insanity of an L4-L5/L5-S1 360 fusion (and a neurologists examination that stated it would not relieve many of the pain generators anyway), this option gives us hope. I understand the issue with laminotomy. We had our initial consultation with BS tech/rep and he was excellent and answered all our questions (we had a lot thanks to this forum). We are going forward with the final appointment and trial soon.
  • By all means, go for the trial and see what it does for you. But just want to make sure you understand that if you are not a surgical candidate now, you might be in the future. As long as the SCS is in, you cannot have an MRI. Of course they can do CT scans and things, but just want to make sure you are aware of the MRI issue and no ultrasound treatments in PT.

    Please keep us posted on your progress! Good luck.
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