What to expect BEFORE your Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant

You have had a successful Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial and have decided to pursue the permanent implant.

What happens next?



This is a procedure which requires special authorization. Our clinic works with a third party to ensure that this procedure will be covered by your insurance. Once you have completed the trial, our clinic can send the necessary records to the reimbursement department. The reimbursement department will contact your insurance company or refer to the coverage policies in order to reach a decision on coverage. Our clinic requires an approval from the reimbursement department before we can schedule the implant. Keep in mind, even if approved, there may still be out of pocket expenses that you will be responsible for.

** It may take 4-6 weeks to get this approval. **


Pre-Operative History and Physical Evaluation

Once we receive approval from your insurance company, you will be contacted by our clinic. You will need to obtain a pre-operative history and physical evaluation. This is an examination to evaluate your health status and “clear” you for surgery. This can be done at TCPC, or your primary care provider if you prefer. Do not schedule this until you have been contacted by our clinic about the approval. Please have this evaluation faxed to 952-841-2346.



Once we have received the pre-op, we will mail you an informational packet and call you to schedule the remaining appointments:

  1. SCS Implant Education Appointment: about 1 week before surgery. We will review the procedure in detail. This appointment is required, it will be done at TCPC with your provider, no medications are refilled at this appointment.
  2. SCS Implant: The implant surgery is performed at either Twin Cities Surgery Center or Fairview Southdale Hospital, depending on your insurance coverage. Please bring in the signed Spinal Cord Stimulation consent form that you received in the mail.
  3. SCS Programming/Wound Check: about 3 days after surgery
  4. Follow-up appointment: about 2 weeks after surgery.


SCS Implantation

A SCS implantation is a surgery involving placing the leads and battery internally (under the skin). The surgery is performed at Twin Cities Surgery Center or Fairview Southdale Hospital depending on your insurance coverage.

  • You will receive IV sedation during the procedure and will need a driver. Do not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours beforehand.
  • The surgery is outpatient and you should plan on being at the Surgery Center or Hospital for 6 hours.
  • There are certain activities that should be avoided for 6-8 weeks after the surgery to prevent movement of the implanted leads. These restrictions include bending at the waist, twisting, reaching overhead, and lifting more than 5 pounds.
  • Do not shower, bathe, or get the incisions wet until you are cleared by the nurse to do so at your programming visit (3-4 days post op). Then shower only until you cleared by your TCPC provider to bathe/soak/swim (about 2-3 weeks post op).
  • Notify the clinic for: headache that lasts longer than 2 days signs of an infection, changes in your bowel or bladder function, or weakness of the legs.


Device Programming

You will return to the clinic 3-4 days after your surgery to meet with a nurse and the device representative. At this time, your device will be turned on and programmed.


Follow-up Appointment

You will follow-up 2 weeks after the surgery to meet with your TCPC provider.

** In the future, if you are not receiving adequate coverage/pain relief with your SCS, please contact the clinic to schedule a separate appointment with the device representative for reprogramming. **


If you have additional questions regarding your Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant, or other treatment options please call Twin Cities Pain Clinic 952-841-2345.

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