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ITB Pump Implant

What does the surgery involve?

The procedure for ITB pump implant requires a short stay in hospital. The surgery usually lasts no longer than two hours and is done under general anaesthetic.

Before the surgery, the clinicians will decide where best to place the pump. It is normally placed under the skin to one side of the lower abdomen. A small flexible tube called a catheter will be connected to the pump and this goes into the space around the spinal cord (the intrathecal space). This delivers the medication directly to the spine from the pump. There will be two wound sites - one at the abdomen where the pump is placed under the skin and another one at the bottom of the back where the catheter goes into the spine. Each wound will have a dressing covering the stitches. Bruising around the wounds post operatively is normal.

The pump will be programmed and filled with liquid baclofen in theatre; the baclofen will then be administered slowly at a very low dose. This dose may be adjusted before discharge. The child will go home after the neurosurgeons are happy, they have been reviewed by the physiotherapists and they have made a good recovery from the anaesthetic.

What are the complications/risks?

Complications are rare with intrathecal baclofen when compared to oral baclofen. In very rare cases there can be cerebral spinal fluid leakage, infection or bleeding during surgery. After surgery the pump may fail, the catheter may leak, kink, disconnect or dislodge. This will require additional surgery to put it correct.

 Side effects from the drug can include:
 1. Loose muscles (floppiness)
 2.  Reduced head control
 3.  Sleepiness
 4.  Upset stomach
 5.  Vomiting
 6.  Headaches & dizziness
 7.  Breathing problems