Procedures that may affect your SCS system
Diathermy emits a high-frequency electric current to stimulate heat generation within body tissue. The high energy and heat can be transferred through your stimulator system, causing tissue damage and, possibly, severe injury or even death.
A pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) may interfere with your SCS system.
Lithotripsy uses high-output sound or shock waves to treat gallstones and kidney stones and may interact with your device.
Electrocautery uses a heated electric probe to stop bleeding during surgery and could interact with the SCS system.
External Defibrillation delivers an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rate. It is usually used in medical emergencies and may cause interference with SCS systems.
Radiation is commonly used to treat cancer. Its ionizing energy may affect your SCS system.
Ultrasonic scanning tests use very high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs or tissue.
High-frequency sound waves may be used for physical therapy to treat certain bone/muscle injuries, for muscle stimulation or to improve blood flow.
X-Ray and CT Scans
These tests may damage the stimulator if stimulation is on, but they are unlikely to damage the device if stimulation is turned off.
MRI uses a strong electromagnetic field to produce images of the body. SCS systems differ when it comes to MRI scans and safety. Below is a list of guidelines for MRI and SCS. Learn about imaging options on pain.com.
SCS system allowing for head MRIs
Spectra WaveWriter™ Spinal Cord Stimulator System
This MRI conditional system allows you to have MRI scans of the head under specified conditions, if you meet the eligibility requirements.
SCS Systems allowing for full-body MRIs
WaveWriter Alpha™ Spinal Cord Stimulation Systems and Precision Montage™ MRI
This system provides access to full-body MRI scans, under specified conditions, if you meet the eligibility requirements.
MRI unsafe SCS systems
Precision™ Plus Spinal Cord Stimulator System and Precision Novi™ Spinal Cord Stimulator System
If you have either of these systems, you should not have an MRI. It may cause parts of the implant to dislodge, heat the neurostimulator or damage the implant, causing an uncomfortable or "jolting" sensation.