ITB Therapy Surgery

What to expect

ITB Therapy surgery takes approximately 1 to 2 hours from start to finish, depending on individual surgical techniques. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions you may have about the specifics of your procedure.

Your surgery may require a brief hospital stay, or it may be done on an outpatient basis. Before the procedure, you and your doctor will decide where to position the pump for your comfort.

Typically, the surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During surgery, the pump will be placed just under the skin of your lower abdomen. The pump will be connected to a thin, flexible silicone tube called a catheter. The catheter is threaded beneath the skin into the Intrathecal space around the spinal cord, into which it will deliver the medication.

After surgery, you'll feel some discomfort and tenderness at the pump and catheter sites. Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve any pain caused by surgery and antibiotics to prevent infection. Tell your doctor if you notice any swelling, pain, or redness near your incision.

Depending on your doctor's preference, the pump may be filled during or after surgery. However, some doctors recommend a short waiting period to allow you to recover from surgery and get adjusted to the pump. You'll begin receiving treatment as soon as the pump is filled with medication and the medication travels through the catheter to the intrathecal space. You may feel effects from the medication soon after delivery, or it may take awhile for you to experience benefits. It may take several weeks to months to reach your optimal dose.

Potential surgical complications

ITB Therapy (the Baclofen pump) can be helpful to people with severe spasticity. Potential surgical complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Paralysis
  • Bleeding
  • Meningitis
  • Headache
  • Bruising
  • Spinal Fluid Leak
  • Swelling

Drug side effects

ITB Therapy drug side effects are usually temporary and may be managed by adjusting dosage. The most common side effects include:

  • Loose muscles
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach and vomiting

Potential device complications

Once the infusion system is implanted, possible device complications may include:

  • Catheter or pump moving within the body or eroding through the skin
  • Leakage, tearing, kinking, or disconnection of the catheter resulting in underdose or no Baclofen infusion
  • Pump failure leading to overdose or underdose of intrathecal Baclofen
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