I am to the point where I am considering getting a peripheral nerve stimulator implanted so that I can survive my ATN pain (located on the T zone on my face). Is there any particular concerns and questions that I should be asking my doctor about? Have any of you had a positive or negative outcome with a PNS? I am actually quite terrified of this next step, though I did survive an MVD last summer. What is the recovery like for a PNS implant? Any advice would be appreciated.
I had a PNS implanted in August, and it works very well controlling my ATN pain, which was not resolved by MVD. I no longer take any meds!
The procedure was really simple. You will probably have a trial first, which involves placement of the leads, just under your skin, and those will attach to external cables and a battery. You will also have a remote control to change the intensity of the current running to the wires.My trial was done under anethesia, outpatient, so I was only on the hospital for about six hours. I had the trial on Friday, and as it worked well, the permanent was implanted on Wednesday. During the procedure for the permanent implant , the wires were.placed under the skin, and connected to a battery which is under the skin in my chest, just below my collar bone.My wires are behind and above my ear, and in my cheek. Although this is surgery, it is nothing compared to MVD. Everything is just under the skin, so it is not very invasive. The recovery is much easier. You will not be able to lift anything heavier than five pounds for about six weeks, and your neck will be a little weak, so you will need to be careful not to do too much.
I am very happy that I chose to get the implant. It has made a tremendous difference in my life, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a candidate. My neurosurgeon is one of the few who use it for TN. Who is your doctor?
Please ask any questions you have. I am happy to help if I can.
I recently had one implanted too-- 8 weeks ago. I have ATN 24/7 usually at 9.5 or 10 on that dumb pain scale we all hate. Horrible pain, the Drs had tried EVERY T HING. Had trial with 80% improvement! then insurance denied permanent, 9 months later had final/ permanent and 85-95% of my pain is gone! I still have ATN in another area that’s untreated but the big horrific area is taken care of. The recovery isn’t bad, no where near as bad as a day of ATN pain. You have to be careful with bending and carrying for a while but believe me you don’t want anything to happen to take away your wonderful pain relief. Since I’ve gone back to work so many people just stare at me, trying to figure out what is so different about me… They say is your hair different, etc, then they end up saying that I look so much better or so happy-- it’s because my horrible pain is gone! Don’t be afraid to look into it, it is not painful or a hard surgery. Living with ATN 24/7 is hard, having a Stim is a blessing. Take care.
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