Nuvectra™ Algovita® SCS Review
The Nuvectra™ Algovita® Spinal Cord Stimulator is designed for patients suffering with chronic pain and have tried all other more conservative methods of pain relief but found little to no resolution. The Algovita works by using an innovative treatment kwon as ‘Spinal Cord Stimulation’ which masks pain signals travelling up the spinal cord and to the brain – therefore stopping you from feeling pain.
The treatment doesn’t ‘cure’ the cause of a patient’s pain, instead it intercepts the pain signals before they reach the brain, preventing the body from feeling the ‘sensation’ of pain and is why it works so well as a pain management treatment. Where you would usually feel pain, the Algovita overrides the pain signals and replaces them with a tingling sensation known as “Paresthesia”. Spinal Cord Stimulation has been proven to be an effective treatment for chronic pain relief and is why the Algovita is such a popular treatment for pain management.
How the Algovita Works
The Nuvectra Algovita requires a small surgical procedure in which a small stimulator device is placed underneath the skin and is then connected to very thin leads are then fed along your spinal cord.
After the surgery you are then provided with a ‘Pocket Programmer’ which wirelessly controls the implanted stimulator device and allows you complete control over your pain treatment. Each time you turn on the device and set the program levels, the implanted stimulator will generate small amounts of electricity which travel through the implanted leads along your spinal cord and stimulate the nerves that are sending pain signals. This stimulation sensation “overrides” the pain signals and effectively reduces the sensation of pain.
The Pocket Programmer
The Pocket Programmer is a truly innovative piece of technology which is very easy to use and is only the size of a standard car key. The device wirelessly remote controls your implanted stimulator so you have full control over your own pain management. The programmer gives you the ability to turn your stimulation on or off, control the power of the stimulation, create specific programs for ease of future use and also check the battery levels on the pocket programmer and the stimulator.
1. Turn Stimulation On or Off
If you start to feel pain then you simply need to turn the pocket programmer on and then turn the stimulation ‘on’. This will automatically start to send the pain signals up the spine and reduce your pain and discomfort. To use this feature simply repeatedly press the middle ‘select’ button until the top icon begins to blink and press the +/- buttons to turn the stimulation ‘on’ or ‘off’.
2. Adjust Stimulation Strength
Once you have turned the stimulation ‘on’ you are then able to control the strength of the signals being transmitted. This is easily done by firstly checking the stimulator is ‘on’ by seeing there is a checkmark in the top icon and then repeatedly press the middle ‘select’ button until the strength icon begins to blink. Then simply use the +/- buttons to increase or decrease the strength.
3. Program Selection
After time you’ll likely find the right settings for different purposes, for example a light strength when laying in bed or a stronger strength when out walking or being active. A great feature is that you can save specific settings as a ‘program’ for future reference and return to that program at any time. Simply select the program at the bottom using the ‘select’ button and scroll through all the preset programs using the +/- buttons.
The Charging System
Over time your implanted stimulator will need to be recharged, however you needn’t worry because the Algovita comes with it’s very own wireless charging system! So there’s no need to return to your surgeon every-time the stimulator runs out of battery, you simply need to use the Charging System which comes with the device and it can all be easily by yourself and within the comfort of your own home.
The charger is 100% wireless and will charge your stimulator by simply holding the ‘Charging Paddle’ over the top of the implant, over your skin. There are two options here, you can either use the adjustable belt which holds the charger in place over the implant, or use the self-adhesive strips to stick onto the back of the charging paddle and then onto your skin to hold it firmly in place.
The system also features a colour touch-screen so you can easily see how much charge the device is up to and know when to stop charging.
Using the Charging System
The entire charging process is very easy to use, firstly just connect your Charging Paddle to the Charging System and the orange ‘charge’ icon in the top right of the screen will illuminate. The system will then inform you to align your Charging Paddle over your Stimulator, it even gives you a target screen so you can easily see where the implant is under your skin to make it easy to align. Once aligned the ‘target’ will turn green and you are able to confirm the position by clicking ‘OK’ on the system and the charging will commence. From here the system will clearly show you how much charge the stimulator has and once at 100% you can remove the paddle.
Frequently Asked Questions
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