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Discharge information for patients with intrathecal pumps for spasticity

Here, we hope you find all the information you need following discharge from The Walton Centre. However, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Our contact numbers are included in this leaflet if they are of an urgent nature, or you can discuss them at your one month post-operative follow up appointment.

What happens next?

Following discharge from hospital with an intrathecal drug delivery system (IDDS or pump) we advise that you have a period of rest, with gentle mobilisation if appropriate. Heavy lifting, twisting and bending should be avoided in the early weeks. Normal activities of daily living, i.e. washing, dressing, etc can be resumed immediately post-op. However we recommend no showers or baths until after your sutures or clips have been removed and the wound areas are healed.

Arrangements will have been made by the ward staff for you to have your sutures or clips removed locally by your Practice Nurse, District Nurse, or you can attend a Walk-in Centre 10 days post op for this.

If at any time you have any concerns regarding your wounds, please contact the Neuromodulation Team in the first instance. Due to having an implanted pump and catheter, it is important to contact us as early as possible with any signs of infection. These include:

  • Redness and/or swelling around the wound areas
  • Leaking from wounds
  • Pain around wound areas
  • Feeling feverish or unwell (flu-like symptoms)

If infection does develop, it can lead to the system having to be removed whilst the infection is treated and a new system implanted at a later date.

How do I get my pump refilled?

Your pump will have been filled in theatre with your required drug and set to the dose calculated as best for you following your trial. You will be reviewed one month following your surgery on Jefferson Ward in the Pump Clinic and then on a regular basis as your refill requirements dictate (this depends on your daily dose and can range between four weeks and up to six months). Dose adjustments can be made at these appointments if required. You will be informed of your next refill date at pump clinic (a letter will also be sent confirming the appointment). If you are unable to keep your appointment please inform us as soon as possible to enable us to arrange an alternative date before your low reservoir alarm date. The low reservoir alarm date (LRAD) indicates when your next refill is due. It is important that your refill does not go beyond this time as the pump will empty and you may start to experience withdrawal symptoms and also an increase in spasticity. The internal alarm in your pump will start to sound on or around this date. If this occurs please contact the Neuromodulation Team immediately to arrange refill of your pump.

Alarms and what they mean

  • If a dual tone beep (ne-na) is heard every 10 minutes, call us at once
  • If a single tone beep is heard every hour, call us as soon as possible


If you have any concerns regarding your pump in between your clinic appointments please contact the Neuromodulation Team.

Our contact details are as follows:

  • Appointment enquiries please ring our Secretary Angela Millett on 0151 529 5675, Monday to Friday 0800 – 1700 hrs:
  • Specialist Nurses 0151 529 5644 / 0151 529 5647
  • Specialist Physiotherapists 0151 529 5965
  • Out of hours (evenings, weekends, bank holidays): Please ring Walton Centre switchboard 0151 525 3611 and ask for the Senior Nurse Bleep holder explaining that you have an intrathecal drug delivery system (pump) implanted and what your concerns are.


  • Last Updated:
    07 September 2020
  • Review Date:
    30 September 2022
  • Author:
    A Cox/ R Costello
  • Summary:

    Discharge information for patients with intrathecal pumps for spasticity

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