• Cort
    Health Guide
    October 10, 2009
    Health Guide
    October 10, 2009

    If I'm reading this correctly people with Medtronic pain pumps can take usually handle MRI's but sometimes there are consequences. Apparently the pump can at times heat up and injure the area around the pump. The pump can also be  damaged by the MRI but usually it is not. None of the negative effects appear to occur very often. 


    Here's some information. 


    "The magnetic field or telemetry signals produced by the programmer may cause sensing problems and inappropriate device responses with an implantable pacemaker and/or defibrillator. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is an energy field generated by equipment found in the home, work, medical, or public environments.


    Most EMI normally encountered will not affect the operation of the pump. Exceptions include: injury resulting from heating of the pump which can damage surrounding tissue (diathermy, MRI), system damage which can require surgical replacement or result in loss/change in symptom control (defibrillation, electrocautery, high-output ultrasonics, radiation therapy), and operational changes to the pump causing the motor to stop, loss of therapy, return of underlying symptoms, and require confirmation of pump function (diathermy, high magnetic field devices, hyperbaric/hypobaric conditions, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)).


    MRI will temporarily stop the pump motor's rotor due to the magnetic field of the MRI scanner and suspend drug infusion during MRI exposure which will cause the pump alarm to sound. The pump should resume normal operation upon termination of MRI exposure. Prior to MRI, the physician should determine if the patient can safely be deprived of drug delivery. If not, alternative delivery methods for the drug can be utilized during the MRI scan. Prior to scheduling an MRI scan and upon its completion, pump status should be confirmed."



  • itbgct October 10, 2009
    October 10, 2009

    I would be extremely careful.  I have 2 medtronic interstim units ( which are different from the pain pump ), but they will not allow MRS's with these units under any conditions. My doctor wanted to try another product for my pain, and he called and spoke with them. They would not give him any assurances.  I had trouble with both of my units in less than one year.  I had followed instructions very carefully.  I called to ask about one treatment that I was to receive, and they gave me the OK for it.  When I telephoned to tell them about the problems that I had with both of my units, they referred back to my telephone call and wanted to blame me for having that treatment after they ok'd it.  I corrected them that I did not receive treatment.  Their reps would not call me.  I had no other option.  I had to have another surgery and pay for it as well even though both of my units malfunctioned. I had water in one unit and the battery went in the other unit. Neither of which I caused, yet Medtronic did nothing about it. I asked my doctor to report it to MAUDE, and he failed to do so.  I called and sent them copies of my medical records.  My doctor who told me that he had performed more surgeries than anyone did not tell me the truth about the problems with the units. If I had a better solution, I would never use Medtronic products. They want to ignore their patients when the patients need them the most. Also, please know that these were not the first units on the market.  Happened in 2007.  If you ask for a letter , which I just did last week, they will not give you any written material stating that any medical treatment will be acceptable or at least they refused me and my case.  I am at one of the most well known medical facilities in the US. Go to MAUDE which is on the FDA site and see if there have been any reports of problems.  They will come my patients because the physicians will not report them.  Also, I experienced severe shocks when I entered stores to shop because of the alarm systems. Before my unit was replaced, I experienced a shock which knocked me to the floor. PLEASE proceed with extreme caution.  I know these are two separate products, but I also know how the company operates as well.  I would never want anyone to experience what I went through.  The company would not accept anything wrong with the units, and I did not appreciate my doctor trying to cover up my experience.  They only replaced one unit, and they removed the water from my other unit.  I feel like anything can happen at any time.  Also, the leads can migrated from where they were originally placed.  I have had continuous pain and tingling in my left leg since I got shocked so severely; yet, no one will admit that it is coming from my units- it goes away when it unit is turned off however.  I cannot live without the units, but as soon as something else comes along, I will never have another Medtronic product.

  • hawk May 24, 2011
    May 24, 2011

    I do think that the MRI is no longer allowed if you have a pump this is due to the unit having a battery. I am not 100% sure about this but I also have a spinal cord stimulator and was told I could not have a MRI again. Please be careful and make sure they know what unit and type you have.




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