The implantable morphine pump is a device used in surgical procedures. It can be permanently implanted in the patient and programmed to deliver dosages at timed intervals. The pump is used to manage chronic pain and is responsible for transporting morphine to the spinal fluid.
How Does the Pump Work?
The device allows a person to have a permanently implanted morphine pump to provide greater pain relief for the patient. The device also minimizes the side effects associated with prolonged use of narcotic medication administered at high dosages. In order to perform the procedure, a pump, a small plastic tube, and a catheter are all implanted in the spinal region of the body. The reservoir created in the pump houses the medication.
What are the Stages of Treatment?
To begin, a trial is conducted. The body’s response to morphine is assessed during what is called a pre-operative trial. The patient remains under observation for several hours. If the patient responds favorably, they may be eligible to receive an implantable morphine pump.
Following a successful trial, the patient will be implanted with the pump. The pump must be directly inserted into the patient’s abdominal muscles. During the time the device is implanted, an anesthetic is administered. With a small catheter, the needle is inserted into the spinal region. Once the needle is inserted into the spinal fluid space, it is slowly threaded in upwards. The catheter enters the abdominal region and is connected to the pump. The pump, which contains morphine, is then programmed to deliver the recommended dosages. Once implanted, the pump delivers each dose based on a schedule created by the doctor.
Finally, the opening is sutured or closed with staples. The entire process takes approximately 2 hours to complete, however, the patient remains under observation for multiple days before being released. The stitches are removed when the opening fully heals
How Are Pumps Maintained?
Following the procedure, the patient will be able to resume their normal activities. Depending on the amount prescribed to the patient, the person can expect to have to follow up with a physician within a month. Some patients do not receive further medical attention until several months after having the procedure. During a visit, the doctor will assess the pump’s performance, replace the battery if needed, and gauge the patient’s recovery process.
What are the Advantages?
The implantable morphine pump is often chosen over the traditional method of administering morphine because of efficiency. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows freely within the spinal region, providing protection for the brain and the spinal cord. The pump efficiently delivers the medication directly to the CSF, providing quicker pain relief for patients. The person requires far less medication than what would be normally prescribed to a patient. A person requires 1/300 less medication when morphine is administered using this device. The smaller dosages reduce the likelihood of dependency and minimize the risks of dangerous side effects. The pump is reprogrammed periodically by the physician and nothing is required of the patient to properly maintain the device.