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Medtronics SCS vs Boston Scientific SCS

RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
edited 09/19/2013 - 6:24 PM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Hello everyone
At this time I have a medtronics SCS. implanted with paddles and I have a trial going on with a Boston Scientific.SCS both for the lumbar area covering from the waist down.
Very interesting test. Yes I am using both units at the same time and also each one separate also for a good comparison. This is a very rare chance and a very rare way to do things.
I am very lucky to have a pain management doctor that fought for me to try this out.
This has opened my eyes a lot.
I will answer any question anyone has on the plus and minuses of the two unit.
They are similar but with some major differences.
Please keep in mind I love both companies and will not bash either one.
Any questions please ask away.
The BS trial will be removed Friday but I will have the medtronics unit until I decide which way I will be going.

Rick
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1

Comments

  • Rickilalas said:
    Hello everyone
    At this time I have a medtronics SCS. implanted with paddles and I have a trial going on with a Boston Scientific.SCS both for the lumbar area covering from the waist down.
    Very interesting test. Yes I am using both units at the same time and also each one separate also for a good comparison. This is a very rare chance and a very rare way to do things.
    I am very lucky to have a pain management doctor that fought for me to try this out.
    This has opened my eyes a lot.
    I will answer any question anyone has on the plus and minuses of the two unit.
    They are similar but with some major differences.
    Please keep in mind I love both companies and will not bash either one.
    Any questions please ask away.
    The BS trial will be removed Friday but I will have the medtronics unit until I decide which way I will be going.

    Rick
    Rick, this is indeed a unique spot for you to research both at once.
    I am having the BS with paddles installed on the 27th of this month after a very successful trial with perc leads. The rep assures me she can do the job with paddles and they are more secure in the long run.
    Not asking for a bashing at all, but a comparison would be appreciated. I have damaged L nerves with constant burning wet and shooting pains all down my right seaboard! Hip, butt, leg/thigh, calf, foot, heel, toes, and some on the left at times too. Since my trial, it has gotten much much worse. Not sure if its from having used the SCS or if my body knows I'm on the last leg before I fix it! Pun intended although a poor one.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 09/20/2013 - 5:59 PM
    64pvolvo1800
    This was a great opportunity for me and I did learn a lot from it.
    I will.write more.about the.comparison in a few.days.
    I will say your going in the right direction with the BS unit.
    If I was starting out I would now ask for the BS unit. I know we don't always get a choice if our doctors work with one company only but I would ask for them.
    A few short reason
    The remote on the BS is better but be careful it's very expensive if you lose it or break it.
    Paddles.for BS are smaller
    BS can program the paddles or.contacs slightly better with more electrical.control.
    Medtronics has two Ports for up to 16 contacts BS has four Ports for 32 contacts
    In my mind the BS was easier for the programmer to dial in the coverage.

    In my case I need a new additional lead below my paddle.
    With my medtronics unit it's full and no way to.add without a second unit.
    If I had a BS I could just add a lead.
    Now my choice is add a.second unit either med or BS or remove just my med unit and implant a BS unit with another lead for the foot.
    If my surgeon gets on board I will ask to replace my med unit with the BS.

    My medtronics unit has saved my life.from pain. I have no real.complaints about it or any of my reps. This isn't easy because so many people have done a lot for me when I needed it.
    But at this time I feel.BS just has a better unit.

    I hope you're trial goes well
    Keep in touch and always feel.free to.ask anything
    Rick
  • That endorses my own experience w the BS and I hope to report back soon. How long after implant were you able to use the SCS?
  • Hi
    When I had my implant they woke me up in the OR to test it. Then moved the paddle up two levels. I woke up in recovery and the rep was there he gave me two programs right then and we made a appointment for one week later to reprogram. My implant took two extra hours to do because that how it goes with me. So I left the hospital with a working SCS with two programs. Six hours in all. The next week I had four good working programs and one was so good I used it most of the time. Remember these have a chip in them that tells all. How much you use it and what programs you use.
    Your going to love it if it gets placed right and programmed right.
    I do not know why but a few doctors have the patient wait for a week or two before turning it on. I see no reason for that at all

    Good luck and ask the rep to go over and give you all the options that you can handle they can do more for you when they feel you can handle it.

    Hope you get some help from this.

    Rick
  • Doc tells me he doesn't want the SCS turned on for at least a week post OP. did all the tests and except for my pulse being 50, all looks like a go. The pulse is a red flag I guess but shouldn't be a problem with all my surgeries under my belt :(.
    Ever since I dropped the 115 lbs, my pulse and bp have been low instead of high.

    Surgery Friday at 11:00
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 09/24/2013 - 3:48 AM
    lets you turn on bet not recharge after surgery. Theres so much swelling
  • backbback Posts: 190
    edited 09/24/2013 - 5:12 AM
    I have a Medtronic, started using the day it was implanted and charged the first time 1 week later. It depends on the doctor.
  • I see a real conflict about to happen. Yesterday, almost 3 weeks post implant I was at pre surgery pain all day. Emailed her and like begged for reprogram tomorrow. "It takes 2 months to scar in be patient" Let her be in pain. Guess it was working better than I thought as yesterday I had a near meltdown. Better today, but by 3:00 pm Im hurting so this is new yet.
  • I see a real conflict about to happen. Yesterday, almost 3 weeks post implant I was at pre surgery pain all day. Emailed her and like begged for reprogram tomorrow. "It takes 2 months to scar in be patient" Let her be in pain. Guess it was working better than I thought as yesterday I had a near meltdown. Better today, but by 3:00 pm Im hurting so this is new yet.
  • Terri
    I would ask your doctors office to get some more numbers for reps. Unless your in a small area you should have several. I never waited more then two days for a medtronics rep and if it was a emergency they would be there that day. I have seven reps now a few weeks ago I had only five but in my area they cover for each other because things never take the time it should. Now with having so many reps I have learned so much about skill and education and experience having so much to do with your success. Yes I have two that are really good and I know when it's a problem and I can tell them I need them and they arrange it for me and don't pass me off to who ever is closest or not busy. They have a range of about 90 miles they don't mind driving. I would always work it out with their schedule so I wasn't a pest to them but they would do almost anything for me. This is why I am reluctant to jump ship and go with BS but my BS rep dialed me in real quick and covered the ankle pain in about ten mins of programming. The first night my ankle pain was gone but my lumbar back was so.sore from the pressure needed to get through my scar tissue. The second night I slept 14 hours straight. That showed me how good it was.

    On the recharging the first time they have a UN written rule that the surgeon who did the implant is to see you and approve that your healing ok with no infection before using the charger. A med rep told me that and I asked a second one about it and she also said that's how they do it.

    On your programming they should be able to get you dialed in better for now and yes I had changes at two weeks then four weeks then about three months and the best at six months
    After that I didn't keep track but it did change here and there. Not one ever complained and they always took what time it took to get me what would work for awhile.
    I do.want to say I could have a second medtronics unit implanted and maybe get by but I feel the BS just has better technology which helps in setting your coverage. They have a real nice app on a tablet with lots of information the medtronics doesn't have. Keep in mind there is no book saying what will work and what will not. It's all trial and error. They should be able to work into the area you need. This is important and if she doesn't get it next time ask for another person. Don't get shy your paying for this.
  • I have a CAT scan to do and then the psych appt....then if all is well, I will be going on the trial for the BS . I have had a botched neck fusion and then a front and then back entry surgery (each a 10 hour surgery) 3 days apart a few years later to try and repair very extensive damage. I now spend most of my time in bed, have no life at all, am prescribed a LOT of pain medication, that now after about 12 years of suffering does not last long enough. I am hopeful for this procedure, but yet at this point I am no stranger to disappointment, so if it doesn't work...it doesn't work and we go to plan B. But I am just curious what the general census would be here for this procedure. Does it sound to you all that I am doing the right thing?. I would just love some opinion from some actual users. I appreciate any and all feedback....Thanks all, Teresa
  • Menoopaws
    In my mind you are doing the right thing has long has no more surgery will help you.
    I did a trial for a cervical unit and it worked fantastic but I can't have the implant until I have my next cervical.surgery and they will do it then. I have spinal.cord damage that will not allow for the normal implant procedure.

    Your shrink eval can either be a real full blown mental evaluation or a short quick eval asking if you can handle having a foreign object in your body. I guess they don't count our rods,plates and screws. But a few people have gotten strange feelings and go to a ER demanding that it be removed. So for those few we all suffer a eval. Do not worry about it it's a easy talk.

    If you get the trial having the trial leads placed may be a little painful but not bad.
    If leads get placed right for trial you will know right away if this will help you.
    I caution you that this is a tool to help with pain and even if it works it will not be 100%
    It can give you a life again so yes it's worth a try.
    In this section of the forum many people have posted a lot of good information if you have time to read it.

    Good Luck hope this helps you
  • To Rick.

    The SCS has been a very positive thing for me so far. Implanted two weeks ago today. I knew in the first hour of the trial that I wanted this puppy! It made an instant mark of relief. Nothing to lose as the trial is little more than an epidural which we've all probably had multiple times.

    Good luck
  • Rickilalas said:
    Menoopaws
    In my mind you are doing the right thing has long has no more surgery will help you.
    I did a trial for a cervical unit and it worked fantastic but I can't have the implant until I have my next cervical.surgery and they will do it then. I have spinal.cord damage that will not allow for the normal implant procedure.

    Your shrink eval can either be a real full blown mental evaluation or a short quick eval asking if you can handle having a foreign object in your body. I guess they don't count our rods,plates and screws. But a few people have gotten strange feelings and go to a ER demanding that it be removed. So for those few we all suffer a eval. Do not worry about it it's a easy talk.

    If you get the trial having the trial leads placed may be a little painful but not bad.
    If leads get placed right for trial you will know right away if this will help you.
    I caution you that this is a tool to help with pain and even if it works it will not be 100%
    It can give you a life again so yes it's worth a try.
    In this section of the forum many people have posted a lot of good information if you have time to read it.

    Good Luck hope this helps you
    Rick, Your feed back means the world to me. I am new here, and I feel I get overlooked a lot. I just meant so much to me (period) to have a nice response!! I have actually belonged to this forum for 2 years. I have only posted 8 times, and that is because YOU are the first person to EVER respond in all that time, I can never express my gratitude! Thank you so much, I have felt I was making the correct choice, but a little back up, does help. I did express my concern about the slight buzzing, but I think or about a 50% pain removal, I could handle that.Thus the trial first. Thanks again for your so nicely put answer!! <3 Teress
  • 64pvolvo1800 said:
    To Rick.

    The SCS has been a very positive thing for me so far. Implanted two weeks ago today. I knew in the first hour of the trial that I wanted this puppy! It made an instant mark of relief. Nothing to lose as the trial is little more than an epidural which we've all probably had multiple times.

    Good luck
    Oh this makes me feel great. Thank you for your input, even not aimed at me, it sure helps my decision doubts!! <3

  • ALL of the comments help me immensely!!! And I can not thank you enough. Menoopaws aka Teresa ( no need to hide my real name. I have nothing to hide!! ;) Teresa
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 10/11/2013 - 7:22 AM
    I had my medtronic cervical leads only in last month. Yesterday was my first big day out. FIVE HOURS not heat no Ice! Thought I would die when I got home. I recouped in about an hour. Would have NEVER attempted 5 hours out of house before surgery and would be down for days. Was I pain free yesterday? No. Off and on it was rough, but that was more than Ive done in a few years. You reach a point where you have to just try as thats the only option.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/11/2013 - 4:18 PM
    Thanks menoopaws your response and the others like it are the only reason I do take the time to help anyone that needs it.
    I almost left the forum but a few asked me not to so has long has somebody gets some help I will be around. I have met some great people on here and many will also help you out.
    Some times post get overlooked and missed. I try to catch the SCS post that I can.
    Do not worry about the buzzing feeling you get use to it and or can turn the unit down so you just barely feel it and it can still be working. We are all different also in the fact that some use it 24 hours a day and others just off and on.

    Like 64pvolvo says above he knew pretty quick it was going to work. I knew the first ten mins it was turned on I wanted it.

    TerriP
    The best way I knew it was working for me was I could sleep all night during the first trial.
    Interesting enough I don't sleep much now at all and never more then a few hours at a time.
    I had my unit on and the BS unit trial going and the first night with both I slept 14 hours non stop. Disappointed today I was supposed to find out about BS implant.
    Terri it sounds like you got out for a.few hours but then had pain, remember you were probally weak from laying home all the time I know I was. It takes awhile to get back out there. I still do a pool class through the arthritis foundation twice a week that really helped me. It's cheap $35 for twice a week for six week sessions. Worth looking into.
    Watch your sleep times just to compare. Sometimes you can shut them off for hours and the brain doesn't get it so there is less pain.
    Over all Terri how is your coverage now and 64P how is your coverage now.

    I will.answer anything I can for anyone that needs it I just ask that you share your experience with the others. When I first came to the board there were several members with bad results from this and just one or two good ones. So many that have good results don't go looking for forums. Remember it's just another tool and not a fix.

    Rick
  • I've seen the coverage area change slightly in the first few days but it still covers a wealth of the pain. I have turned it off at night because its distracting but the sensations continue for hours after I kill it anyway. One thing I noticed, and I hope you relate to my terms, is there is a "rolling" feeling through my body very sim,ar to the buzzing when I have it turned up high, almost like a nervous anxiety. Even after I sleep the night it remains. I am turning the net site down now throughout the ya to see if I've just ODd on the device and need to back off. The newness and relief as I crank it up is so nice and it blocks the pain, but I do worry that I may be desensitizing or overloading my nerves by this.
  • Are you running just one program or cycling through multiple programs through out the day? The new stimulator's are designed to prevent you from becoming desensitized, but its still a good idea to vary the stimulation pattern I've had my stimulator coming up on the 5 year mark. I'm still very positional, so I have different programs I use for different activities. I have a sitting, walking, standing, lying, and sleeping programs. Medtronic's Remote, Don't leave home without one.

    Have a good day.

    B.
  • And I run through all of them throughout my daily activities. I always have one on except at night.
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/24/2013 - 4:59 PM
    OK if all goes well I will know tomorrow afternoon what is going to happen.
    I have decided I want to keep my medtronics unit and add a second unit from Boston Sci
    I hope this meeting at 4-30 goes well
    Rick
  • that sounds very smart. What happened how did it go?
  • OK so the plan now is to keep my medtronics unit left alone and not touched because it is doing good where it has coverage. Add a BS unit with a paddle below my medtronics paddle
    to Cover my left foot pain. OK done deal now except for which doctor.wants to do it.
    My Pain management doctor has to explain to my surgeon why he wants him to do it.
    This should happen on Monday. I hope it's soon because I am just about to cut my left foot off. I know it might not help the pain but I know it will not be worse.

    Catch you all later when I hear more
    Rick
  • Had a discussion with both doctors and the BS rep and waiting for them to put it all together.
    I could be ready tomorrow morning I want this to happen and soon.

    Rick
  • It's Friday! are they still talking?
  • Waiting for this Friday now. 4:15 but who's watching the clock
    I.should have a answer. I don't understand what the issue is now everyone is on board.
    Something has to give soon or major increase on the meds which I don't really want to do.
  • Are you getting around on your own accord? Or wheelchair, cane...?
  • I get around fine. No chair no Cain. My only issue is that my left ankle goes from regular pain on a good day to a feeling that a chain saw is cutting it off and or something has smashed it and is trying to twist the whole foot off. Has strange has it sounds I can walk on it the pain doesn't change no matter what I do. One and the only one exception is I can sometimes lay in bed and get in a position that reduces the pain. Guess where I stay all day and night?
    Once I move the pain starts immediately and will not go away. Pain meds no longer help it.
    They shot my foot full of.lidocaine and it did numb the foot but the pain staid.
    The pain we found is being generated around the bottom of the T section but can't pin point it. They have tried everything . This is just a odd one. I will say the trial with the second.SCS did stop it. That's my reason for the second SCS. I have injections every two weeks and I know I need to slow that down. Way to many. But it's that or????
    I hope Friday I get my answers.

    Thanks
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 11/05/2013 - 4:23 PM
    OK got three phone calls tonight after office hours to call and set up appointment with the surgeon for the implant. Yes it's finally going to happen. In the morning I should find out what date I can get in or at least get preop to set up a date. I hope my surgeon isn't to booked up
    It might be a good time of the year because of the holidays coming.
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