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Incision Problems

gsp4meggsp4me Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
I'm 3 weeks post-op for my permanent SCS and while the lower incision (where the unit is - in left buttock) has healed nicely - the upper incision (where the leads are - mid back) is bothering me quite a bit. Seems to be healing fine - but there are some lumps under the incision in the upper end - and the whole incision is very, very sensitive - to the point that my bra (which is about 1.5 inches BELOW the incision) and even my shirt rubbing against it - hurts. I have my first follow-up, and program tweaking, tomorrow morning with the surgeon and - so I WILL talk to Dr. about this - but I'm wondering if anybody else had this problem? I am on the skinny side - so upper incision has no "meat/fat" around it - and maybe that's making it so bothersome???


  • Those are the anchors for your leads. I have the same issue of being thin and not much "meat" to really cover them. I actually had a revision done because they had torn loose and were eroding through the skin. The doc had to pull in tissue from the surrounding area to cover the anchors better and it made things much more comfortable. I will always have the "lumps", I just have to pay attention that I don't wear anything that will irritate them. Flector patches work great for calming down inflammation when I do get them a bit irritated by doing certain activities.

    See what your doc has to say and let us know.

  • I had my implant done in Dec 2010 and my surgical sites still hurt today. the battery site hurts/burns the worst. The lead site is still tender. had to get a bigger bra size just to keep the straps from being to tight.. ( i know - TMI) my doc finally sent me to an allergist to see if I was having an allergic reaction. The allergist couldnt see how i could be allergic to it because of the materials it was made of. appearantly the SCS is made up of some pretty awesome metals. therefore, he informed my pain mgmnt doc that it wasnt allergy related.

    my pain mgmnt doc doesnt know what to do next..
    neither do I..

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  • Saw my surgeon on Friday (6/24) and he said incisions are healing well - that the problems I'm experiencing ARE due to being skinny. About the "bump" at the top of the incision - he said it's the suture tie-off site and that as they are resorbed (hopefully) this bump will get smaller (and 3 days later it IS already getting smaller). I'm actually already having less discomfort at the upper incision site - so I guess it was mostly just the healing process not being done yet (it IS only 3.5 wks). The stimulation had moved drastically as the swelling went down, so the tech did the adjustments/ tweaking of the stimulation program and things seem to be awesome right now!! I was given a CD burned with copies of the x-rays taken at this follow-up appointment (to show where leads/battery pack placements are right now). This is so, if/when I'm travelling, I can have CD (showing the "right" placement) to give to another surgeon if leads migrate/have issues. I'm sure hoping that since this seems to be working, I WILL be able to start doing some travelling - SOON !! I don't have to see surgeon again, unless I have problems. Just need to keep following up with my pain management Dr. so that I can keep adjusting (downward!!) my pain meds. So far so good ... WHOO HOO !!!
  • I'm glad to hear you're feeling a tad better. :))) When I first noticed the 'bump' at the lead implantation site I was surprised, but figured it was because something had been added to the area, which we know is the case.

    Like you, my battery implantation site became less painful rather quickly. It was about 5 weeks before I could sit back in my La-Z-Boy and not feel like getting right off it. The lead site takes longer to heal from what I've heard, which doesn't surprise me from what I was told happens in that area, but hopefully you'll be feeling less discomfort there soon.

    During the healing time, as your leads scar into place, the scarring can move the leads so it won't be surprising if you need more adjustments relatively soon. Just be sure to follow the restrictions. My friend also had an SCS and did not follow them, and as a result his moved out of place. #o

    Best wishes for your continued healing!
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