How Much Does a Spinal Cord Stimulator Cost?
Spinal cord stimulation is something that many people have never heard of since it is a fairly new procedure. Chronic pain is considered to be an ailment that could potentially disable you if you are not able to care for it properly. For many people, the best thing that can be done with the pain from which they suffer is to take medication. However, one of the few techniques that has lately increased in popularity on the market is the spinal cord stimulation. This is the process by which electric currents are used to target the areas and nerves that are the probable cause of the pain. This may allow patient to feel less pain or to possibly eliminate the pain altogether. Technically, the pain will still be there but the patient’s body will not focus on it and therefore it will not be felt. On the other hand, the potential cost of the procedure is often a deterring factor that makes people avoid this procedure.
How much does it cost?
- On average, the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator is going to be anywhere from $20,000 to as much as $60,000 without any sort of insurance. This does not include the evaluations and annual fees.
- There are some websites such as Spineuniversity.com that states the total implantation cost would reach as high as $57,800.
- On a mean averaging process, however, the cost and expense of the procedure for a 24-month treatment could reach as high as $52,091. This average is according to the website Journals.lww.com.
- Certain centers can also assess the overall cost of the spinal cord stimulation test based on the actual extent and need of the patient.
What is going to be included?
- The spinal cord stimulator does not technically remove the pain from the patient. Instead, the stimulator masks the pain from which the person suffers and prevents the patient from experiencing it too much. Typically, the spinal cord stimulator is a device that is planted under the person’s skin through a surgical procedure.
- Small wires are attached to the generator together with the nerve fibers . When the stimulator is turned on, it results in a mild tingling sensation that interrupts the pain signals that are sent by the brain. The device itself is very much affordable for many, but the treatment, the surgery, and the post-procedure checkups are the ones that usually eat up the budget. To learn more about this procedure, see this Practicalpainmanagement.com article.
- Every year, the patient will have to undergo x-rays, generator replacements, visits to the doctor and have hardware maintenance performed.
What are the extra costs?
- The geographical location is the major aspect that would affect the price of the procedure. It is stated that not every city will have this, and this means that you may have to pay for travel expenses, lodging costs, and other overhead expenses for the procedure.
- Annual maintenance costs for the device would also be present, and you may have to think long term when it comes to this operation. The annual costs can range anywhere from $3,500 to $8,000.
- During the therapy, certain medications will be required to ensure that the implantation works properly.
Factors that influence the price:
- A major element that would often be considered as a factor that affects the price of the procedure is the type of device that is being inserted. The more modern it is, the higher the cost will be.
- The medical center that offers the process is another element that would affect cost. The more advanced the facilities of the heath center, the more expensive the operation will be.
Tips to know:
- It would seem ideal to look into the possibilities of searching for nearby facilities that offer it. This way, you get to reduce the added travel costs.
- If you have insurance that covers this procedure, your coverage may be void if you have to travel out of town to do it. Most insurance companies have regulations that state you must use certain hospitals or doctors unless there is an emergency elsewhere.
- Look for spinal cord stimulator that give you long lasting usage. Avoid those devices that will require constant changing and maintenance. A good stimulator has batteries that can last up to 25 years.
- Talk to a few other people who have had this procedure done to see what their results have been. Ask them if they are glad they had it done or if they wish they would have just dealt with the pain. This may help you in making your decision.
How can I save money?
- The process does not come cheap, and the first thing you need to look into is to ask your doctor whether you really need it. If you have a good health insurance provider, then you can work to have this procedure done easily. However, if you feel that you can work with the chronic pain, then it would be viable to avoid this operation. When it comes to choosing the spinal cord stimulator device, choose a brand that gives you long lasting features and assets.
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