Post Vasectomy Pain Forum

Journal for my dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulator trial and implant

Tomorrow I will go in to have a DRG stimulator attached to me. This will be a 7-day trial to see if it provides any pain relief. My doctor requires at least 50% pain relief to go forward with a permanent implant. We will see.

During this 7-day period, I will be wearing briefs, sleeping on my side, and other things that I normally avoid. If I put this thing in me permanently, I want to be able to do these activities. Theory is that if I take on the risk of having this electronic device inside of me I want some normalcy in return.

The DRG stimulator is different than the traditional spinal cord stimulator I tried last year. The DRG has leads that go to the outside of the spinal cord (the DRG), whereas the traditional method puts leads directly on the spinal cord.

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Good luck with it! I hope it will be a success

Well, I’m back and the benzodiazepine and oxycodone are wearing off now. Here’s what the result looks like. There’s no device on the outside of my body this time. Everything is under the gauze. And I have an iPod this time to control the intensity.

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Could you please tell me at what level they put the leads? It looks like two leads on your left side.

Best wishes with this solution. I hope it brings relief. Thank you for posting. I can only think of 1-2 others on this forum that attempted the DRG stimulator, so you’re doing all of us and future vasectomy victims a great service here.

Seems like many of us have “taken one for the team” trying out new or unusual therapies once we get beyond things like nerve pain meds.

Great question. Stupid me didn’t bother to ask where exactly the leads are positioned. I do recall the Dr. talking about where the leads where going during the procedure, but I was doped up on meds, so I don’t really recall. I have a follow-up next week, and I will ask him!

Yes, there are two leads. My pain is on the left side only.

Tonight, I have turned down the intensity a notch because there was too much tingling in the upper left thigh region. And I’m icing my back a lot because it’s pretty sore from all the injections I received during the procedure.

Thanks, I’m curious to hear what specific drg’s they are targeting. Maybe the Abbott rep will know. I’ve spoken to the one local to my area and they say that they are involved a lot, I hope that is true in your case. More importantly, I hope this works for you. I’d love to hear how the pain felt before and how your body interprets the pain with the device on. From what I’ve read, this area of the body is the ideal candidate for drg simulator. In fact, one of the success stories on Abbott’s website involves chronic testicular pain.

Talked to the Abbott rep this morning. He said the top lead goes to L1, and the bottom to S2. He said the bottom lead could also target S3 in some cases.

Last night (the first night) I had trouble sleeping on my my left and right sides because both hips were sore. The rep said that’s from the procedure, which hits nerves that go to the hips.

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Thanks. We are all pulling for you. Please keep us as updated as possible. This information is very powerful and as someone strongly considering this as a possibility I appreciate any personal experience you can share.

I have tried all settings available but did not get the result I was hoping for. Today is Friday and I did not want to wear this thing through the weekend, so I went to my Doctor’s office and they took it out.

I was intentionally sleeping on my side every night, which was something I wanted to be able to do. I did not experience any pain relief. On some nights, I was actually thinking I was worse. I would wake up in the middle of the night with significant pain, which usually doesn’t happen.

I went all the way to 32 on the top lead with no improvement. Increasing the bottom lead resulted in significant “tingling,” which is usually the word used. But it’s not really tingling. It’s more like muscle twitching, like when a muscle just starts twitching on its own without voluntary control.

I did walk once for 30 minutes. I couldn’t really power walk, though, because of the device attached to me. Sometimes power walking can increase pain. I didn’t feel any increased pain from the walk, which got my hopes up for a while.

In the first couple of days, I was feeling pretty well during the daytime, so I thought initially maybe it was helping. But I started feeling more pain during the day, and one morning after a bad night, I was especially sore. The device didn’t succeed in reducing pain that morning, so I knew it was over at that point.

I also wore tight underwear during the day in this trial, which is something I haven’t done in years. Did enjoy a return to that for a while, but there just wasn’t enough pain relief to continue it.

Compared to the SCS trial I had last year, this DRG trial was more difficult. For example, the implant procedure was more painful, pulling the leads out today was more painful, and my hips experienced more soreness. Could be that I’m a year older. But the doctor definitely had more difficulty inserting the leads this time. One lead was inserted higher on the spine than the other. Last year, they were inserted in the same spot.

I was certain that the SCS trial resulted in 0% pain relief. The DRG stimulator may have reduced some soreness during the day time, but it wasn’t at the level where I was willing to move forward.

While this trial didn’t work for me, I hope this thread is informative for other men on this forum looking for an answer. If you think the DRG stimulator is something that you want to try, I would definitely recommend the trial, especially if your insurance covers it. It could work for you. And the control app is now compatible with iPhone.

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Sorry to hear that. I was really pulling for you.

One thing I found in my journey with pain management is that my pain is so deep seated and complex that I’ve required multiple nerve blocks in the same spot and other spots to get relief. I just finished my second round of three superior hypogastric plexus nerve blocks spaced a week apart. Each time I got a little bit better but had setbacks. The innervation is so complicated and varied that I think this is why it often takes multiple modalities to get relief. I wish they could block the dial root ganglion before trialing but I guess this isn’t possible.