Receiving an Implanted System

Safety and use information

Safety and Use

Find important safety information for our implantable devices and systems.

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Receiving an Implanted IPG Device

If you and your doctor decide that neurostimulation is right for you, you may choose to have a system implanted to help you manage your pain more effectively. To receive a device, you will have a surgical procedure that is typically performed in a hospital or day surgery center. You may go home the same day. Some patients are asked to stay overnight for observation.

Before the procedure

Before your procedure, your doctor will likely discuss with you:

  • What type of generator you will receive
  • What type of leads he or she will use
  • Where the generator will be implanted, typically in the abdomen or buttock area

Preparing for the procedure

Your doctor may:

  • Tell you when to stop eating and drinking (usually a certain number of hours before the procedure)
  • Explain what medicines you can take and what you need to stop taking
  • Suggest that you wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing (for example, elastic waist pants and a button-down shirt) and shoes that you can slip on and off easily
  • Ask you to shower or bathe before your procedure because you may not be able to do so until your incisions are healed
  • Advise that you ask a family member or friend to drive you to the procedure and stay with you afterward. Because of the medication you will receive, you likely will not be allowed to drive yourself home.

Tell your doctor about:

  • Bad reactions you or your family members have ever experienced with any anesthesia
  • Allergies you have to medications, food or other substances
  • Medications you are using, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, herbs and supplements

Talk to your doctor for more information on what to do before the procedure.

During the procedure 

Your procedure is often performed at a hospital or day surgery center. It involves these steps:

  1. You will be positioned on the operating room table—most likely on your stomach—and given medication, which may make you drowsy.
  2. Once you are comfortable, the doctor will place a lead or leads in an area along the spinal column called the epidural space. 
  3. Once the leads are placed, the generator will be implanted. The generator will be placed in an area of the body that you and your doctor decide on before the procedure. Once the generator site is prepared, the leads will be attached to the generator and the generator will be fully placed in the body.
  4. When the implant procedure is complete, you will be moved to a recovery area to rest until your doctor decides you are alert and well enough to leave the hospital or surgery center.

Procedure risks

Receiving an implanted system is a surgical procedure that will expose you to risks, such as:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Loss of strength or use in an affected limb or muscle group (e.g., paralysis)

Be sure to talk to your doctor about all risks associated with receiving an implanted system. 

Immediately after the procedure

Before you leave the hospital or day surgery center, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your incisions and what activities you should avoid during your recovery. He or she will also show you how to use the programmer to adjust your neurostimulation therapy.