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Temporary Lead Removal...Does it Hurt?

Posted May 12 2009 6:10pm


A few readers have expressed a little anxiety in regard to having their trial leads removed. This is completely normal. I felt a little nervous too (and when I say a "little" nervous..I actually mean I felt like I was going to vomit). But, I can honestly say that I worried for nothing.

I had two stimulator trials and therefore had two lead removals. Both times, I felt no pain. I promise I'm telling you the truth! The first time, I went into an examining room and stood up while the doctor carefully peeled off the tape. After the tape and bandages were removed, the doctor slowly pulled the leads. He finished in the span of 5 seconds. The most noticeable sensation I experienced was itching (from a reaction to the tape). For the second removal, I sat on an examining table. In retrospect, sitting was better.

The second time I had the leads removed, a fellow did it (I mean a medical fellow..not a "guy," "man" or "fella"). I forgot to turn off the stimulator and he forgot to check. This meant the leads were pulled out while the stimulator was on. Fear not my little chickadees..it didn't hurt . Although, it was an entirely bizarre sensation that wasn't exactlypleasant. So, word to the wise, remember to turn off your stimulator and it'll be easy as pie. Seriously..if you made it through the trial part, you're a tough mother-freaker and will have no problem showing the lead-removal who's boss.

Now, if you're nosy like me and want to see what the process looks like..then take a peak at this video on YouTube (if you're squeamy, then maybe you shouldn't). This patient's sister videotaped her lead removal (it looks much worse than it feels). She had stitches (that part may be different for you, as it was for me). If you scroll down and read the comments, you'll notice that it was painless for her as well.

For other patient readers who've been through this...I'd love to hear about your experience. Was it fairly painless for you too?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll49m0620qE

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