First-of-a-Kind Surgery Performed in Oman to Implant Intrathecal Pump for a Cancer Patient
Muscat, 21 Mar (ONA) --- The Interventional Pain Management Team at the Palliative Care Department of the Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre (SQCCCRC) confirmed the success of the first-of-its-kind surgery in Oman to a patient in order to control chronic pain associated with cancer.
The implantation of an intrathecal pump in a patient is one of the most advanced procedures that offer a radical solution to the chronic pain in cancer and non-cancer patients. This type of pain is the one that cannot be relieved by a normal way of getting narcotic pain medication orally or intravenous injection.
Professor Roberto Aricioni, Senior Consultant in Interventional Pain Management at SQCCCRC, stated that the medical team performed the surgical procedure to permanently implant a intrathecal pump that delivers medication to the spinal fluid to treat chronic pain, as a final solution after the medical staff had exhausted all standard pain management therapies, which did not work with the patient.
He explained that the Pump is implanted under the skin, and it is connected to the spinal canal where the medication goes through a catheter and into the intrathecal space around the spinal cord accurately. The pump is filled with a drug such as morphine or Ziconodite (painkillers), or Bupivacaine (local anesthetic) and is programmed by a computer to continuously release a specified dose that is determined by the physician. Professor Aricioni added, “This treatment is favorable and most appropriate to the patient case as the morphine released around the nerves directly will achieve immediate effectiveness.”
Samah Said Al Sarmi, Advance Nurse Practitioner specialized in Pain Management indicated that after the process of implanting the device in the patient’s body and pumping it with the necessary medicines, we programme the device and operate it electronically and remotely, through a tablet used specifically to programme the appropriate doses for each patient and control the pumping of these doses around the clock and monitor other vital indicators of the device.
Dr. Amna Ahmed Al Harasi, a palliative care and cancer pain consultant, at SQCCCRC said that this procedure helped the patient to reduce more than 50 % of overall morphine equivalent daily dose and reduce side effects encountered with very high doses of narcotic pain medications like nausea and hallucinations which he suffered from without any positive response in pain relief. This procedure contributed to the patient's ability to continue sessions for cancer treatment, in addition, it improved the patient's quality of life, and he was successfully discharged from the hospital to practice daily activities with his family.
It is worth noting that, the Palliative Care Department is striving to provide the latest recommended treatments, to deal with difficult cases of pain and symptoms associated with cancer or its treatments, and to carry out the necessary interventions to help patients’ overall quality of life.