Drug pumps treat chronic pain that does not respond to oral pain medication, reports Medtronic. They do not eliminate underlying disease but help manage pain. This method of pain relief only requires a portion of the medication needed if treated orally and may decrease side effects.
A drug pump is a device that is surgically placed in the abdomen, explains Medtronic. It includes a catheter that transports the pain medicine directly to the fluid around the spinal cord. The pump is filled with medication during surgery, and then it releases the prescribed dose into the intrathecal space. When the pump needs to be refilled, individuals must return to their physicians.