Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Bad Stomach Pain and Bloating After Permanent SCS Implant

Hi everyone. Well I finally got my permanent SCS St Jude medical paddle lead implant on Monday, 2/24. I'm a bit confused because everyone keeps saying that their leads are placed up by their shoulder blades and my highest lead is by my bra strap and the lower one is on the left side by my butt. I had a laminectomy also to secure the lead to the spine.

The back pain has not been terrible but since I left the hospital on 2/25, I have terrible upper abdominal pain and severe bloating! I look like I'm about the deliver a baby!! I called my doc's office and apparently he says that this is swelling and not bloating or gas and is because of the back surgery and the inflammation on the nerves. I don't know that I agree with him and his answer really makes no sense. Why would I get swelling of my upper abdominals and lower abdominal skin tenderness with two incisions to my back?

This feels like bad gas and when I weighed myself on the scale this morning, it shows I have gained 8 pounds since they weighed me on 2/24 in the pre-op area. That's an 8 pound weight gain in 3 days! And I haven't even had much of an appetite.

Anyway,, would appreciate some feedback and knowing if anyone has ever experienced this kind of stomach bloating and pain with the implant of an SCS.

The pain in my stomach is a nightmare and I haven't been able to get rid of it.

Thanks so much! Joy


  • The upper incision is where the doctor placed the leads. My incision is right where my bra would hook together. The lower incision is where the battery was placed. I had my surgery on the 20th and I am very swollen in my hips, butt and thighs.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Call your doctor. One of the biggest issue with any surgery is infection or other complications after surgery.
  • if that doesnt dispel at least 1/2 (Ask pharmacist) or go to ER. Thats what they will do first. Theres always gas when your opened up. Good luck it's all going to start to really hurt soon.
  • Wow, Day No. 4 post op and my abdominal pain has dissipated by 60% but I'm really sore at the incision sites, and judt about everywhere else in my body. Thanks RT, Terri P, and Tired. I actually contacted the surgeon who I'm not that crazy about in the first place. He told his receptionist to tell me that it's not gas or bloat, that it's swelling from the implantation of the stimulator....very confused! So does this mean if I ever need abdominal surgery that my back will swell? lol These doctors in Arizona, you gotta watch out for them

    I ended up going to the emergency room and when the doctor examined me, he agreed that because of the anesthesia and tube placed down my throat, that this is likely severe gas. But just in case it wasn't,, he wanted me to have a CT scan with contrast, a full blood test study, an ultrasound, and a urinalysis, despite me telling him that I never had this and that it started when I was in the recovery room. I promptly left this facility, went home and called my regular internist at 8:30 at night. He told me to go to 24 hour pharmacy, get enema and magnesium stereate.

    Da Ta....It worked! Im not totally gas or pain free in my abdominal area yet, but hopefully am on my way. My internist also told me to do as much walking as I can to "shake things up in there".

    Thanks so much for all your input. Have a great weekend!
  • I am sorry I couldn't give u more info on your gas issue. I had SCS surgery last week and I feel like I have been run over. Sore doesn't even describe how this feels. Did they turn your SCS on yet? Mine was turned in recovery. I had choice wait to my follow up appointment or do it then. I hope your recovery continues to smooth out. Keep us posted.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • TerriPTTerriP Posts: 303
    edited 02/28/2014 - 2:27 PM
    all that ER BS after surgery...your doing pretty good rt girl!.
  • Okay, Day it's day 5 and I thought I would be feeling a bit better in the pain department by now. I feel as though I've been beat up or run down, or both. After being up all night long and finally crawling into bed at 5:30 in the morning, only to get up at 7:30 and not be able to move.

    I have a post op appointment on Monday and they are going to turn my unit on then. My rep told me that the only reason they turn it on a week post-op is that patients want it on "fast." Frankly, I think it's a complete waste of time. I can't tell where my pain is now and what is pre-SCS and what is post-SCS. I think they should wait until the post-op pain goes down to at least 85% so that the pre-SCS pain can be more readily identifiable.

    Another thing I'm concerned about is that my surgeon, who is a complete nutjob (I can only thank God that he's not someone I see on a regular basis) told me he was going to place the leads higher up on my back so that I would have a good chance to get some lower back pain relief. The consensus on this website is that most of these leads are placed high up in the T-spine to begin with, by the shoulder blades at level T10-T12. Mine was placed at T8. How is that placed higher? Anytime I ask this doctor a question, he acts as if I am a major inconvenience to him and his staff.

    Oh well, thank you everyone for your comments.

    And a special Thank you to Jennifer for you good wishes. I also wish you a speedy recovery!
  • Thank you all for posting about post spinal cord stimulator abdominal pain. I too had a SCS implanted on 11-10-14 and in recovery room felt bad pain in right abdomin. Surgeon decided to admit me - the pain got worse as I could not even put my finger on my stomach which had begun getting extended. The pain was right below the sternum and about 8 fingers down. I have never felt this kind of pain before - even the hospital blanket weight hurt. They decided not to feed me for 3 1/2 days while running tests which included: xrays for free air, CT scan with contrast, ultra sound and a nuclear stomach emptying test in which you must egg a treated egg and lay under a camera while they time the stomach to empty into the intestines and then the endoscopy along with blood tests ect.. I got up and walked a little although it increased the pain. All the doctors including the neuro claiming it wasn't from the surgery and that something else was wrong. I was on IV during this whole time - kidneys worked fine and they wanted me to move my bowels - with what? I haven't eaten in 3 1/2 days and also wanted me to pass gas...clear the room if I was able to!! But it was my wife on day 4 that read these posts and said although it is not common it does happen - Severe Abdominal Pain. Needless to say all these tests were for not and had the neuro & SCS company been on their game would've known about this possible side effect. It got better after a week or so with the abdomin returning to pre labor look and the pain subsided. Even one nurse said I don't like the way my stomach looked so she was onto something out of the ordinary. And oh by the way just got the hospital bill - $186,000!!! The SCS has only got 1 program on it but I feel once it has all it can offer it will have been worth it to releive the lumbar pain. By the way I had the leads put in at T7/8 and laminectomy @ T9. The battery is implanted in my right upper buttock. Good luck to anyone considering this option for pain.
Sign In or Register to comment.