Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Power to Prevent SSIs - June 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 106 of 132

cedure, a small device — like a small pacemaker — is implanted under the skin where it delivers electrical impulses to the spinal cord in order to interrupt pain signals. About 3 years ago, these devices were the size of a hockey puck. Today, they're the size of a Double Stuf Oreo, meaning they're far more comfortable for the patient. They're also Bluetooth-enabled for the first time, which means a patient can control her level of stimula- tion from an iPod, whereas previously she'd need to hold an antenna over the implant — a not-so-consistent or comfortable way of modu- lating pain. Additionally, these implants are now being made with primary cell versus rechargeable batteries, so patients no longer have to sit still for an hour or 2 a week hooked up to a recharging station. Instead, the device simply needs to be replaced in a minimally invasive, 10-minute procedure once every 7 to 10 years. The devices are operating at a higher frequency than ever before, meaning the patient feels less vibration. And, because of gyroscope technology that uses the earth's gravity to determine orientation, a patient is able to move more freely than ever before, without the fear of feeling minor zaps. Finally, the devices are MRI compatible for the first time. "Spinal cord stimulators are our bread and butter," says James McClung, BSN, RN, director of nursing at the Center for Specialty Surgery in Austin, Texas. "It's an amazing feeling being able to watch people walk away after receiving an implant without feeling any pain." Since April of last year, chronic pain physicians have been able to stimulate not just the spinal cord, but the dorsal root ganglion, or the "Grand Central Station for all pain impulses entering the central nerv- ous system," says Dr. McCarty. "This means we're able to treat pain we were never able to treat before, including chronic complex regional pain syndrome of the lower extremity. It's been a real breakthrough." J U N E 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 0 7

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