Monday, April 12, 2010

Battery Placement

I want to talk a little bit about battery placement as I've had quite a few discussions with people about that recently.

My battery is in the right side of my chest, just below my collarbone.  When I was discussing the stimulator with my surgeon we talked about battery placement.  I didn't really want it in my chest, as I thought the battery would be very obvious and the scar would be more visible.  I suppose this is true, but he told me that having it in my chest is better than having it in my low back/upper buttocks where a lot of surgeons place them for the following reasons, which all made sense to me:
  1. It takes about 3 times more wire to run the battery down to your lower back, as opposed to your chest.  More wire means a longer surgery, more disturbance to your body, and a longer healing time.
  2. When they put the wires down your back, they go through muscle.  When they go do your chest, they don't go into the muscle, or if they do, it's very minimally.  If you know anything about muscle, it takes a long time to heal, which means having wires runs through it increases your recovery time substantially.
  3. There is a lot more movement through your back than there is through your shoulders/chest so with the rear battery placement, the potential to pull your wires loose is much greater, which of course leads to one (or more) revision surgery(s).
  4. Charging the battery and using your remote is awkward as it is...having that battery in a place that is hard to reach and hard to see makes using it that much harder (in my opinion).
Speaking to people that have had their batteries placed in their lower backs, I find all these things to be true.  Yes, I have a more visible scar but my recovery was easy compared to what some others have been through.  I've also heard of doctors wanting to put the battery under your arm, but that was a discussion I never was never brought up as an option for me.  I can't imagine having it there...I think it would be terribly annoying!  Therefore I think discussing battery placement options with your doctor is very important.  And if the scar on your chest is the biggest thing holding you back, just remember that it becomes a conversation piece, a way to educate others about headaches and the available treatment options.  Or it can make you look like a badass if you make up a story about how you got in a wicked bar fight.

1 comment:

  1. My battery is the right rear placement, but have had no issues either with wire displacement or with handling the stimulator, however it is not rechargeable so that probably makes a big difference!

    However, you do need to be able to find your butt with both hands in order to operate....