Pain management pumps work by delivering pain medicine through a catheter to the area of the body that needs it, according to Drugs.com. A health professional fills a round plastic container with medicine, and the patient affixes this container to clothing or carries it in a carrying case. Medicine flows through a tube that comes out of the pump. The tube contains a filter and a device that controls medication dosage. Some tubes have a device for extra medication boluses.
Health professionals determine the area of the body in which to place the catheter, reports Drugs.com. A patient receives it before or after surgery, and it often resides near the surgical site. Health professionals use a needle for placing the catheter, and they tape tubing to the patient's skin and cover the area with a bandage. They sometimes also tape the flow controller to the skin.
The patient should not get the filter wet or put tape over it, and he should avoid squeezing the pump, states Drugs.com. Bandages should remain loose at the entry point of the catheter because they can decrease the flow of medicine if wrapped too tightly. Health professionals should instruct the patient on how to keep the area dry for bathing.