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Intrathecal Drug Delivery


Intrathecal Drug Delivery


Severe chronic pain can drastically reduce your quality of life (QoL) and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL’s). At Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists in Arlington, Virginia, Drs. John Huffman and Talal Ghazal offer intrathecal drug delivery systems (IDDS) to help reduce chronic pain and allow you to return to enjoying your life to its fullest possibilities. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book online today to determine which pain-relieving treatment may be best for you.

An intrathecal pain pump is a small, round computerized infusion device that Drs. Huffman and Ghazal surgically implant underneath the skin in the subcutaneous fat of the abdominal wall to deliver pain medication directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  This device allows the direct administration of powerful pain medication into the CSF which bathes the central nervous system (CNS) where it can bind specific receptors that can modulate or reduce pain perception. It’s a highly effective solution for relieving certain kinds of pain while minimizing medication exposure, improving effectiveness and reducing potential side effects.

Drs. Huffman and Ghazal might suggest you try an intrathecal medication trial for possible IDDS implantation if you struggle with these types of painful conditions:

  • Post-surgical pain syndrome 
  • Failed spine surgery syndrome
  • Chronic back or neck pain with or without extremity pain consistent with a
  • Ischemic cardiac or chest pain
  • Spinal cord injury resulting in chronic pain
  • Peripheral vascular disease and ischemic limb pain
  • Peripheral neuropathic pain
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Pain after amputation (phantom limb syndrome)
  • Chronic abdominal and/or pelvic pain
  • Perineal or pelvic floor pain

Your IPRMS Doctors will discuss your medical history and symptoms to determine if you’re a candidate for an IDDS. They will check your vital signs, complete a directed physical examination, and review X-rays and other imaging studies to diagnose the root cause of your painful condition.

Surgical placement of a IDDS system is typically performed under a regional (spinal) anesthetic administered through the intra-operatively placed intrathecal catheter as well as twilight sedation (MAC) to help you fall asleep during the intrathecal pain pump and catheter surgical placement. The IPRMS physician’s will make an incision in your abdominal wall to place the pump underneath your skin and another incision in your back to anchor the catheter into the CSF.

Your physician will then close the incisions using subcuticular stitches which will dissolve. Intrathecal drug delivery system placement takes approximately 1to 2 hours.

After surgery, you will most likely be discharged home pending individual risk factors. Get plenty of rest and take medications as directed by Drs. Huffman and Ghazal. Avoid heavy lifting, bending, reaching and twisting, as well as driving until evaluated by your physician at your initial post-operative visit.

Don’t live with severe or ongoing pain that makes everyday tasks unbearable. Call the Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists to schedule an appointment or book online today to determine if an intrathecal pain pump (IDDS) may be an appropriate choice for you.




Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists
1635 North George Mason Drive, Suite 150
Northern Virginia

Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: 571-732-0044
Fax: 866-850-1049

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