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Removal of SCS in my 82 years old Mom

Hi, my mother is 82 years old and 6 years ago implanted a Meditronic SCS which never gave the expected results, ie, there was no improvement in pain. The Medtronic device has discharged and no longer works. The appliance does not cause discomfort when it is switched off. Her doctor said it is advisable to remove the device in a "simple" surgical procedure. My mother suffered a lot to implant the unit and I don't want my mother to undergo another surgery at that age with all the limitations and pains she has. She has surgery trauma. She is already very anxious and nervous just thinking about the procedure, which caused an increase in pain. My question is, if anyone knows. What are the risks of leaving the appliance switched off inside the body? Besides the limitation of not being able to make MRI, what else could happen? Do you know similar cases?



  • WLLadyWLLady Ontario CanadaPosts: 1,486

    hi phsilva76

    welcome to spine-health

    i'm sorry to hear that the scs did not help, and that she is anxious about having another surgery.  there are no medical professionals on the forum here that can answer your question about leaving the appliance in-your doctor is the one that can answer that question-and should be able to tell you of any risks associated with not doing the surgery.
    welcome to the forum, and hopefully others with scs experience can chip in soon. 

    Veritas-Health Moderator
    Dec '16 T10-S2 fusion with pelvic fixation. Laminectomies L2, L3, L4, L5, facet removal, cages L4-5, L5-S1, severe scoliosis, arthritis and stenosis repair. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,354


    I am so sorry your mom is having to go through this, especially at her age. I had an SCS implanted when I was about 64 and about a month later had it and the leads removed. I had too much permanent nerve damage for it to do any good.
    I also have other spinal issues where I will need a MRI. That is why I chose to have it removed.

    Like WLLady said above, talk to her doctor and get his opinion. But try to do some more research so you will know what questions to ask.
    Good luck to both of you. Please feel free to ask more questions if need to.

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • My stimulator quit working also, I was advised by my surgeon that it was not a problem to leave it in as long as it was not causing a problem, I did have it removed during another surgery, I would find out what the risk of leaving it in are and then compare your options.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Thanks for your comments. I will ask her doctor but I'd like to hear other opinions.

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