The permanent implantation of a spinal cord stimulator system with percutaneous leads is routinely performed under sedation. The surgeon makes one or more incisions in the lower back then inserts special needles into the epidural space within the spine. The leads are then inserted through the needles and threaded within the spine to the desired location under fluoroscopic visualization. The leads are then temporarily connected to an external generator and spinal cord stimulation trialed intra-operatively to ensure correct positioning of the electrode arrays. Once proper positioning is confirmed, the external generator is disconnected and the percutaneous leads are anchored to the fascia.
A separate incision is then made, typically in the flank, buttock, or abdomen, and a small pocket is made beneath the skin, to accept the implantable generator.
A tunneling "straw" is then passed between the two incisions and the lead wires are routed below the skin to the generator pocket. The lead wires are then connected to the generator and the generator is placed into the pocket. The electrical connections are then tested.
Each of the incisions are then closed and bandages are applied.
The surgical procedure will generally take 1-2 hours, followed by a stay in the post-anesthesia recovery room. You may be able to go home the same day, or may require a short hospitalization, at the discretion of your surgeon.
Please speak with your healthcare provider for more information.