Pain Relief Centers in Orange County

Helping you discover greater pain relief without drugs.

Intrathecal Pain Pump Implant

At Centers of Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine, we strive to offer the leading pain management treatment options and procedures to our patients. Our intrathecal pain pump is a safe and effective pain management procedure. It is a programmable pump that delivers preprogrammed small doses of medication directly into the spinal cord throughout the day. The intrathecal pain pump most commonly treats spinal cord injuries and conditions. The intrathecal pain pump can control symptoms and eradicate all other forms of medication.

Candidates for a Pain Pump:

  • Have rejected all other forms of conservative treatment
  • Dependent on medication
  • Endure chronic debilitating pain
  • Are medically cleared to undergo implantation
  • Have responded well to trial medication

What to Expect

Dr. Lai will perform a short physical exam and all necessary imaging tests to evaluate the patient’s candidacy for the pain pump. The patient will be able to ask any questions or concerns about the intrathecal pain pump procedure and implant. During this consultation, he will discuss all trial information, procedural details, necessary prescriptions and the recovery process before the implantation.

Pain Pump Benefits:

  • Effective pain reduction
  • Patient controlled programmer
  • Reduced medication doses
  • More efficient pain management treatment than oral medications
  • Improved functionality
  • Reversible procedure
  • Completely customizable treatment

We will schedule trial injections or trial period where we test and monitor the patient’s response to the medication to ensure a positive treatment. Trials will vary based on the severity of the case. Dr. Lai may recommend one injection, multiple injections or a trial period with a catheter to evaluate the body’s response to the medication. Once the testing has proven successful, the procedure will be scheduled.

Dr. Lai will begin the procedure by administering anaesthesia to the patient. Once the patient is under, they will be placed on their back to insert the catheter. A small incision is made to place the catheter within the spine. The catheter cord will then extend to the abdomen where the pain pump will be placed under the skin. Then an incision will be made to place the pump on the side of the abdomen. Once the pain pump is implanted, the catheter extension cord will be attached and the incisions will be carefully closed. The entire procedure will take around 3 to 4 hours.


Immediately after the procedure, the patient will be monitored to further ensure a successful implantation. Patients will be discharged on the day of the surgery. After the procedure, patients may experience discomfort and inflammation around the area of the incision. Medications will be prescribed to alleviate any postoperative pain. Dr. Lai will discuss all activities that should be avoided following the procedure. Some light to normal activity should be avoided for around 6 to 8 weeks.

Patients typically see a reduction in pain and an improvement in their quality of life with the pain pump. Dr. Lai will schedule a follow-up appointment after the procedure to evaluate the healing process and the current status of the pain management. The pain pump requires regular doctor visits to monitor, refill and program medication.

If you are interested in our specialized pain pump treatment, contact our office today and book your consultation.

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