Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

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BASSMAN
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Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by BASSMAN » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:33 am

Thinking about talking to my doctor about getting a Pain Stimulator/ Implant.
Anybody other than Scuba Board have info on this?
33 FSW or even 90 FSW is not a reasonable depth restriction for me.
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eliseaboo
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by eliseaboo » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:58 am

My advice would be the standard "call DAN" I haven't really heard anything, but if anyone would know it would probably be them.

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Joshua Smith
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by Joshua Smith » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:41 am

http://www.m.webmd.com/back-pain/spinal ... -back-pain

After reading this, I'm not so sure I'd want one in the first place.
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by LCF » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:50 am

It's a controversial treatment, and IIRC, Medicare has just stopped paying for it because the efficacy just isn't clear enough. But if I had disabling back pain and had exhausted all other options, I'd rather try this than chronic narcotics.

Anyway, the entire unit is implanted, so there is no issue with skin integrity and diving. But most of these things, like insulin pumps, aren't hardened for significant pressure, if they have been pressure-tested at all. It may also vary from unit to unit, as I believe pacemakers do (probably not so much how well they work, but how much testing the manufacturer has bothered to do).

I can't think of any way in which the presence of the unit would interfere with diving.
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by ldevore » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:00 pm

Having worked on the development and testing of several implantable medical devices, I can certainly say that pressure testing them for patient use during diving would not be on the radar of either the manufacturer or the FDA. Testing summaries completed for cleared (approved) devices can be found on the FDA website or through FOI. You can also look at the device instructions for use (IFU) (there is usually a link to it on the manufacuters website). The IFU will list the general parameters that the device has been tested to. There is also a section in the IFU, usually called "Device Description", which may tell you a little bit about its construction. This may be helpful, as you may be able to determine if there are any empty cavities in the design, or mechanical components which might be affected by high pressure. In addition to calling DAN, your phsician may be able to call Medical Affairs at the device manufactuer and get more information.

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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by ljjames » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:03 pm

You might discuss where they plan to place the battery pack. I know some pain docs who put it in what would likely be a very uncomfortable position for wearing tanks on your back (have revised more than a few when i worked primarily in spine/neuro surgery).

I work as a surgical tech, and although I just 'pass the instruments and assist the surgeon', I and couldn't tell ya if they are safe to dive with, I can absolutely tell as a diver when something is placed where either a bc and tank/backplate or a weight belt will ride on it, so as a patient/diver advocate I'd make sure they understood your needs with regards to your equipment and such and where they want to place the hunk o' battery pack under your tissue.

I would also encourage you to talk to a neuro-spine surgeon if you have not already, someone like Dr. Gwinn at Swedish Neurosciences. http://www.swedish.org/Physicians/Ryder ... z1yyFEiDqk I have been a part of a number of spinal cord stimulator placements with him (amongst other procedures) and he does absolutely outstanding work.
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by ArcticDiver » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:53 pm

Educate me please:

If I understand correctly the purpose of this device is to stimulate the nerves in such a way pain is masked and perhaps function is enhanced. Correct?

If so; is there a second question beyond the implant's physical structure and location? Could it potentially also mask DCS or DCI signs and symptoms?
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by BASSMAN » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:24 am

ArcticDiver wrote:Educate me please:
Could it potentially also mask DCS or DCI signs and symptoms?

I never thought about that, but it is a good point!
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Re: Pain Stimulators(Implant) and diving?

Post by ArcticDiver » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:15 am

Really didn't mean to "make a point". I really meant it when I asked to be educated. It pays to be a Knowledge Sponge. Never can tell when a bit of knowledge will be useful.

But, if you hadn't thought of that maybe my question will be useful, eh?
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