Certain tests, therapies or procedures may injure you, turn stimulation off or permanently damage your stimulator. Learn about these procedures below and be sure to tell your doctors that you have an SCS system before considering any of these procedures.

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.

Cardiac Pacemakers

Your SCS system may interfere with a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD).


Lithotripsy uses high-output sound or shock waves to treat gallstones and kidney stones.


This procedure uses a heated electric probe to stop bleeding during surgery.

External Defibrillation

This delivers an electrical shock to the heart to restore a normal heart rate. It is usually used in medical emergencies.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation is commonly used to treat cancer. Its ionizing energy may affect your SCS system.

Ultrasonic Scanning

Ultrasonic scanning tests use very high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal organs or tissue.

High-Output Ultrasound

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.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This test uses a strong electromagnetic field to produce images of the body. SCS systems differ when it comes to MRI scans and safety (see below).

Learn About Your Options for Imaging Tests 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

Precision Montage™ MRI Spinal Cord Stimulator System
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.

Talk to Your Doctor

Before having any medical tests, procedures or therapies, be sure to tell your healthcare team that you have an SCS system. They should call our patient support team at (866) 360-4747 for instructions.

Resources and Support


We're Here to Help

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

Phone: (866) 360-4747
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