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Saint Jude SCS unit

treettree Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Spinal Cord Stimulation
Has any body had St.Jude scs unit implanted.I am having one implanted when my surgeon comes back from Europe asia Vacation.I need information on procedure, was it painful thanks Bob Wood


  • I think the procedure is the same no matter which stimulator you are getting. There is pain involved, but it was nothing compared to the pain I had after disk surgery. There are many discussions here about what to expect from the surgery and it depends on what type of surgery you are having as to what your symptoms will be. My SCS is cervical with the battery implanted in my hip. I have been through this surgery twice now, most recently six weeks ago. I found that the pain medication provided to me was adequate for keeping it under control and I did take it regularly for that first week. Most of the pain comes from swelling related to the surgery, especially in the hip area, but it does ease up pretty quickly.
    Best wishes to you on your surgery!
  • I know there is a member with a St. Jude unit - I remember reading posts from them not to long ago, so if you scan the topics on the first page you're likely to find them.

    As honeysmom said, if it's the procedure you're concerned about, there's not likely to be much variation as the systems (that I know of) have the same basic components and are implanted the same way. What's important surgery-wise is that you have a surgeon you're comfortable with. Be *very* specific with the surgeon about your requests. Show them exactly where you want the battery unit or you may end up with a surprise and it's in some odd place like mine. :OO Also make sure they prescribe adequate pain medication, preferably before the surgery as you may not be terribly lucid after it's done.

    I have a different brand unit, but as far as SCS goes in the general sense, I'm glad I had it. The trial gave me a decent idea of what to expect, and your trial hopefully did the same. Good luck with your surgery! I hope it provides a good measure of relief. :)))
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  • I have two SCS implants, one in my lower back and one in my neck, both for cronic pain. My lower back works great and tends to give me about 40% more pain tolerance with meds. The first install on my neck seemed to work for about a month then stopped working. They told me that the lead had shifted and would need to be relocated, I had to pay for this percedure as well. I let them go back in and relocate, it worked for about two months and now I have lost everything in my neck again. I can still feel it in both my hands and arms just fine. Now they want to go back in and move it higher to catch the pain in my neck and if they cant get up through the canal they will just remove it completly.They say that part of the lead may not be working. They cant get it programmed. It might be bent, etc. I have a few questions that you might be able to help me out with:
    - Should this be something I should have to pay for?
    - Am I stuck? I only have the Doctor who installed it and the Rep from St Jude telling whats going on. Do you have to take thier word for whats really going on? What if the part is defective, shouldnt thay have to pay for everything and are they really going to admit what is really wrong?
    I have numerious other questions and issues regarding this. I get little bump rashs when its on and have done alergic tests etc. to no avail.
    Please help!

  • sounds like you have a tough situation. Sorry to hear your neck lead is giving so much trouble. That bites.

    "Should this be something I should have to pay for?"
    How it should be and how it is are two different realities. My opinion (and I'm not a medical or legal professional) is that it depends on what caused the problem with the lead. If they know the lead is defective due to manufacturing, then no, you shouldn't be responsible, and I would pursue that issue with St. Jude. Medical equipment has pretty good quality control, but it's not perfect. If the lead was damaged during surgery, then either the surgeon, St. Jude, or both, should cover it. (you said it could be bent? Why that is would be a big factor) If the surgeon knowingly installed a bent or defective piece of equipment, or damaged it him/herself during implantation, then I would pursue it with the surgeon. If the lead was properly implanted and fully operational at the time of implantation, then you would be responsible to have it replaced. However, I would instruct the surgeon to give the (possibly) defective lead to an impartial third party (talk to a medical lawyer about this) to hold so it can be tested. If it proves a defect, St. Jude should cover all expenses. Again, I'm not a professional, that's just how I see it.

    "Am I stuck?"
    Never. You can always change doctors. Given the success rate (or lack of) with your neck, I'd consider it. At least a consult. Again, it depends on why the problem has been happening. To an extent you are still going to have to deal with St. Jude to have the (possibly) defective piece tested, but if you're convinced it's not your fault, and either a manufacturer defect or surgeon error, I'd consult a medical lawyer. They can advise you how to proceed.

    Bottom line: If you know at this point it's either St. Jude or surgeon error, document it legally and have them cover it. If you don't know what the problem is, but they've indicated it could be on their side, I'd get professional legal advice.

    Good luck on your situation! :)))
  • Your St Jude Rep can run diagnostics on your lead/s to determine if they are functioning properly. There really isn't any guess work when it comes to a defective lead or not. By running diagnostics and taking a simple set of x-rays, it can be determined quite easily if the lead/s is malfunctioning, moved or physically damaged.

    Find out what's wrong first, then it can be decided on who's responsible or not to pay for repairs.

    Welcome to Spine Health

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