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Reporting in after SCS permanent surgery

anjuanaanjuan Posts: 236
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
My SCS permanent implant surgery is scheduled for this Thursday, October 29. I just found out it is scheduled for 4:30pm. I was excited to find out that BS programmer who I worked with for the trial is going to be there for the surgery as well. I don't like having it later in the day, but there is not much I can do about it. I am still very glad that I was able to get it scheduled so quickly. I am getting a little more nervous, but I am still very exicted and hopeful for pain relief. Since the trial my pain seems to be even harder to bear and if it wasn't for the surgery coming, I would be asking for stronger meds. Having this time to think about everything has made me even more sure that I am making the right decision about the procedure. This past weekend I was nesting and did as much housework as I could without ending up in too much pain while DH did the rest. We even got some trick or treating in at church since I will miss it on halloween.

If anyone has any last minute advice for the surgery I would love to hear it. I have my grabber ready and will have things out on counters so no BLT. My family is coming to help over the weekend and will take DD to their house next week so I can rest in peace.

I hope everyone is having a pain free week.

Thanks to all for their previous advice!


  • I wish you all the best on Thursday. I have to tough it out for another three weeks. I understand when you say everything seems to hurt a little more. I talked this over with my Doc and he has offered a nerve block for both my right and left legs on Wednesday as some possible short term relief. I'm hoping for anything for the upcoming weekend. My Great Niece and Nephew are coming for the their annual Halloween trek.


    P.S. Survived giving my oldest daughter her first driving lesson this past weekend.
  • Last minute advise. I am full of advise today. First...don't lay around too much the first several days. You will have to lay on your back and it tends to feel raw if you lay too long. Second...remember a recliner is the easiest to get in and out of and comfortable to sleep in as well. Don't be afraid to take all your pain med and BT meds if you have to...reduction of meds will come in time. Try to get the rep to commit to being your sole programmer. I have found that one programmer is better because they remember what they did in the changes where the new one is just guessing. Drink a lot because anesthesia and pain meds will bind you up and after SCS surgery you don't want to strain. Let's see...prepare a couple of meals ahead of time. I have frozen meatloaf and other foods to make it easier to prepare meals. Keep your programmer with you at all times. Don't want the little ones thinking it is a TV remote. LOL I have placed my magnet in the restroom so I can turn it off if it is uncomfortable sitting in there. Remember the Toilet is lower than a regular chair and puts a little more strain on your spine. Get a hand held shower sprayer so a family member can wash your hair while you stand outside the bath tub for the first 3 days. I found it easier if they were in the shower and I just bent my head over. If you have any questions or need someone to calm you PM me. I don't mind. I enjoy the fact that I have this miracle. Don't be ashamed to ask for help. Like I posted before, I had to have someone help me in and out of bed most of it was fear of twisting but to have that support helped.
  • All great advice. Get moving is a big key. This will not allow your muscles to start to sieze up during your recovery. But do not over do it. I had my implant at 10 am and was up and moving around 6 pm. I walked a little each day. Going a little further every time. The hardest part for me was getting in and out of my recliner. I had a slide alittle then reposition my arms to slide a little more. I was really getting around after about 10 days. Matter of fact, i probably was over doing it. But I'm hard headed and used to being on the go all day. Even after your recovery period ( about 8 weeks) you will still need to remind yourself to still take it slow. Last week was about 14 weeks post op for me. I bent down to pick up a piece of paper and felt a pull in my back. Needless to say the PM chewed me out pretty good. I pulled my left lead out slightly. Now i have to wear a back brace to remind myself not to bend over like i used to. Luckily it did not pull too much and it should heal again. My PM stated it would take almost a year for all the scar tissue to form and harden properly. UGGHHHHH. The other thing is not to let this implant get into your mind too much.It should be pretty easy compared to your past surgeries. But then again everyone is different. A powerful mind will aid in your recovery.
  • If you let this get in your head and worry you...recovery will take much longer. Don't anticipate anything at this point. I had my surgery at 4pm and ended up staying over night because I just couldn't wake up from anesthesia. I was kept comfortable...I think I had 3 pain shots but they didn't turn on my SCS until the next morning. I wasn't awake enough for them to program that night. I was sent home around 12 the next day. Of course I had to pee for them...and that was difficult for me because of where they placed the 4 leads. No problems now other than my leg cramping when I sit. I just turn off the unit so there is no discomfort and then turn it on when I am standing. Please don't let someone elses story concern you. It may be a walk in the park for you and you may feel like doing more. Just don't over do.
  • The others are correct, let this experience be your experience. Mine was a piece of cake and I did the entire thing with only some Tylenol and an anti-inflammatory. By day 4 post op I was out and about and having a good time. I am a person who believes in what my body allows me to do, so I do it. For me a recliner was uncomfortable and I spent my down time either in a plain chair or lying on my side watching movies. I spent an incredible amount of time out and about walking through museums and stores.

    I had no one to tell me their experiences at that time, so it was very easy to have my own. Listen to your doc, your rep, and yourself.

    Best wishes for a smooth day!

  • I found that using ice for the swelling was great. After 3 days my doctor told me to switch to heat. He said the heat would help me heal faster. Both heat and ice felt really good. I wish you the best!!!

  • Thanks to everyone for your great advice! I really appreciate all of your support.

    I still hadn't heard from the hospital this AM about any pretesting or when I need to be there for the surgery so I gave them a call. They hadn't gotten through my paperwork yet and said that I will probably have to come in tomorrow for the preop lab work but they would let me know. Hopefully they will get it nailed down by the end of the day- nothing like waiting until the last minute.

    I feel more ready and hopeful for this surgery than the others that I have had in the past. My DD is going to one of her friend's house that evening since we won't be able to pick her up from preschool. She is so exicted to go there that she hasn't even asked about my surgery, which I am really glad about.

    ETA- I do have to do preop testing and it is scheduled for 3:15 tomorrow. I won't find out what time I have to be at the hospital for the surgery until my appointment tomorrow afternoon.

  • I recently joined this forum and have been following you since before your trial (you and I trialed at about the same time). My trial (10/2 - 10/6)was a great success and am awaiting w/c approval for the permanent. I have RSD in my lower left leg which developed after I broke my leg and my foot fighting a shoplifter at work in April of '07.
    I wish you the absolute best and hope everything goes just as planned for improvement in your pain. You will be in my prayers on Thursday. God Bless.
  • Surgery day is here. I have to be at the hospital at 2:45 and the surgery is at 4:30pm. I decided to go ahead and work from home for a while this morning to keep my mind off things and reserve as much of my vacation leave as possible. I have the usual restrictions of nothing to eat or drink since midnight last night. I can handle having nothing to eat but having nothing to drink is the hard part for me. I probably won't be able to update my status until at least tomorrow because it will most likely be a late night.

    Overall I am really ready to go and start vibrating again. :)
  • Julie, I hope you have a fully successful outcome from your SCS implant.
  • I have appreciated it when others have posted about their experience, so I wanted share my experience as well. I got to the hospital at 2:45 and they got me hooked up to the IV, etc. The finally wheeled me down to preanesthisia around 4pm. I waited around there until about 5pm when my rep from the trial and Dr. came in. I spoke to the Dr. about pain control after the surgery and how the Norco wasn't helping me long enough and he wrote a script for opana. We then talked about the placement of the IPG and he stated that he usually put them in above the beltline but he would let me choose which side I wanted it on and whether I wanted it in the back or side. We finally settled on the back right side for me since I am right handed so it would be easier for me to reach that side. Since I sleep on my side we discussed putting it slightly towards the back so I would still be comfortable sleeping on that side once it had healed. He also marked the area with a marker. I asked him if it would be as difficult to place it this time and he said that they had my x-rays from last time so hopefully not.

    They then rolled me into the operating room and got me situated on my stomach and gave me some sedation in my IV. I know that I was awake when they needed me to tell them if the stimulation was in the right place, but I don't remember much past that. I don't think it took them as long to find the right place this time but I honestly don't remember. I know that I didn't feel as much pain as I did during the trial.

    So then I woke up in recovery and my rep was there plus another rep along with the usual staff. They said everything went really smoothly. Once I started coming out of it more my rep worked with me to set up two programs. She didn't do any more than that because she said they would likely change by my Dr. appointment. She then had to leave (it was around 6:30pm) and the other rep went through charging, etc with me. My incisions were then starting to hurt my so they gave me more pain meds. I was wearing the corset that I hated again and the nurse in recovery saw that it didn't fit me right so she cut it down for me. I really appreciated it that she took the time to do so since it is more comfortable now. They then took me back up to the day surgery floor and I was discharged a little while later. I felt ready to go home.

    Unfortunately the hospital couldn't call in the opana (due to narc rules) so we had to go to the pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. I recommend seeing if you can get your pain meds filled in advance because it wasn't fun waiting around.

    Once we got home I ate a little and tried to get some sleep. It was a really long night and I didn't sleep very well because of my insision pain. I had to sleep on my left side because my back and right side were too painful.

    It is great to having the buzzing back, but definately feeling the incision pain, even with the opana. But, from past surgeries I know this won't last so I am dealing with it.

    I would be happy to answer any questions regarding my experience.

  • So glad you felt well enough to post the day after surgery. Remember no BLT's and take it easy. It will get better with each passing day.
  • Sounds like everything did go smoothly - Yay!! Thanks for checking in and updating us. Be sure to just rest and relax.........take it easy. Don't try to do too much too soon.

    Take care,

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