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Stimulator Removal
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Stimulator Removal

My wife has had 2 lamanectomys and a three level fusion and a stimulator that was implanted and then revised.  Now they have recommended removing the stimulator because she is not able to empty her bladder.  The stimulator was working very well for her leg pain but not back so they revised it and put in new Medtronic leads.  The surgery did not go well and she had drop foot for a while and now cannot go to the bathroom.  They said that removing the stimulator should help this.  She has had the stimulator off for almost a month and can live with the pain (it seems to be much better) But I am worried about the risks of removing it and worried that it will not help her bladder problems.  Any thoughts?  
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501792_tn?1261114706
Hi Jay,

       I'm not sure if you knew that Sandee1818 moved your question as it was in the  forum Welcome which many members may not see your question at the bottom. I'll bump it up for you:
Its called two lemanectomies and a three level fusion and a stimulator

I hope that helps a bit.

TMA
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Avatar_f_tn
I have heard that the stimulators can cause people to lose control over their bladder. One person in a forum that specifically mentions SCS said they had bladder control problems, but they took it as a trade off for having less pain. I did not think bladder problems were that common a side effect from the SCS though. I also would think that once the device had been turned off for a month that the bladder problems would stop. Maybe there is another underlying problem that the doctors haven't found?

As far as removing the SCS there are risks just like with any surgery, but there shouldn't be specific ones caused by the SCS. They say its completely reversible and shouldn't leave any lasting complications.

If the Medtronic SCS was working well for her pain, but causing unwanted side effects maybe she would like to try one of the others to see if she has the same problem? Some people report that they have tried the multiple brands and that for some reason one works better for them. Just a thought.

Best wishes.  
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Avatar_f_tn
jay  It's awesome that you're there supporting your wife through these troubled times for her.  my husband is very supportive also but I think sometimes he needs support for his support, I'm sure you understand that one.  anyway i have a horror story with the medtronic implant and I'll give you the option of reading some of it, if you want to, by looking at the comment I posted under sandy1818,  Her posting was website of stimulator and pumps and was called something like "pine stimulator and pumps."  You;ll see it there., anyway I wanted to tell you that when I had mine, initailly for the first 7 days with nothing happening they went back in and repositioned the leads and left the unit in for another 5 days, 12 total, and it never worked for me at all. After getting it removed, 3 days later I got a terrible headache and after about 5 days the doctor determined I was leaking spinal fluid, It was either from the reposisitoning of the leads or the removal of the leads. the doc told me to start immediately drinking clear highly caffienated drinks and lay flat. they slowly got better and evenually went away after about 7 - 10 days of off and on and me treating them with caffiene. this was really the only so called side effect I had, other than it was a huge hassel and didn't work.  I did read somewhere however that someone had their unit removed and then later had a xray for something else and saw where their doctor removed the battery but left the leads inside, SCARY.  


I just found my medtronic packet listing the adverse events or side effects here's what it says: undersirable change in stimulations described by some patients as uncomfortable jolting or shocking, hematoma, epidural hemorrage, paralysis, seroma, CSF leakage(this is what happened to me), infection, erosion, allergic response, hardware malfunction or migration, pain at implant site, los of pain relief, chestwall stimulation and sugical risks.  for further information call Medtronic at 1-800-328-0810 or consult website at www.medtronic.com

I hope this helps.  I didn't see anywhere anything about the bladder but obviously they don't know every little side effect on people.  I would call them and/or visit the website if you haven't already to see what I could find out.  
good luck and I sincerely hope she gets better.
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356518_tn?1322267242
Thanks for the advice , I really did not know much about this and I am glad your able to provide more information. Thank you!
I have to look things up sometimes to get a better understanding but it certainly helps a lot more when someone has actually had experience with it and can give much more information. We are really glad to have you here!
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501792_tn?1261114706
I agree, I dont know too much about these things at all. I have heard them mentioned from time to time since I found health forums on the internet and came upon info while trying to find more options for myself. But dont have any personal experience with them. I'm not sure my pain would benefit from any of the procedure types of options.
But I dont know if that is 100% true and its always nice to know about things that other people have used to treat there pain.
So thank you for your info on your personal experience.

TMA
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