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Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) systems are designed to work properly around most electrical devices. However, some items may affect how your device works. While these effects are usually temporary, we recommend using the following guidelines for safe interaction.

What is EMI?

All items that use electricity or transmit wireless signals have invisible electromagnetic fields around them that may temporarily interfere with your SCS system’s normal operation. This is called electromagnetic interference, or EMI for short.

How EMI Affects Your Device

When you are close to equipment that generates strong electromagnetic fields, it can interfere with wireless communication, turn the stimulator off or increase the stimulation level so it is uncomfortably strong or feels jolting.

If you experience uncomfortable stimulation, turn off the stimulator. If the stimulator suddenly turns off by itself, move away from the area. Next, check the stimulation status with the remote control by pressing the unlock button and observing the screen. The implant may need to be recharged before stimulation can be restarted. Refer to your charging handbook for further information.


Safety Precautions

The following items have especially strong electromagnetic fields and you should avoid or exercise extra precautions when you are around them.

  • Airport security screening devices and theft detectors, such as those used at entrances/exits of department stores, libraries and other public establishments. We recommend that you request assistance to bypass the device. If you must proceed through the device, turn off the stimulator and move through the center of the screener as quickly as possible.
  • Tag deactivators, such as those found in retail stores and libraries.
  • Power lines or power generators.
  • Electric steel furnaces and arc welders.
  • Large, magnetized stereo speakers.

Cell Phones

While we don’t anticipate any interference caused by cell phones, the full effects of interaction with cell phones and your SCS device are unknown at this time. If you have a concern or problems, please contact your physician.

Resources and Support


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If you have any questions about your Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) system, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

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