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Author Topic: MRI Safe with PARTIALLY-EXPLANTED Vagus Nerve Stimulator?  (Read 10394 times)
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ericksmc999
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« on: March 31, 2011, 07:46:12 AM »

Hello All:
I recently had my VNS partially explanted and have been suffering complications ever since. My doctors want me to get an MRI but I remember Cyberonics' website saying that an MRI of a partially-explanted vagus stimulator should not be done. Unfortunately, I cannot find this info now. The radiologists and doctors I am working with believe that a specific low power MRI would be fine. Hence I wanted to ask if anyone on this message board with a partially-explanted stimulator has subsequently gotten an MRI and whether it was safe.
Thanks so much for any advice you can give!
-Matt
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oreo
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 10:00:08 AM »

Hi Erick,
I have not had experience with this but I know several moderators have.  Please give them a little time to respond.  Good luck with resolving your problems!
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midwestguy
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 03:40:39 PM »

I had my VNS removed four weeks ago. I just saw a neurologist yesterday and talked to him about this same issue because he mentioned the possibility of needing an MRI. He didn't think it would be an issue for me to have the MRI. He said the coils in my neck could heat up by about one degree. He said having the entire device implanted would be more risky with the MRI because of the chance that the MRI could mess with the programming of the device.

Of course I have the same concerns as you, because I thought it wasn't safe. This neurologist didn't seem to be concerned about it.
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Dispatch
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 10:02:50 PM »

Hey Ya'll!

I've been told that it IS NOT safe to have an MRI with any of it in you & I have no knowledge that has changed.  However, there is a deal they can put over your face and that covers your neck to the collarbone and that type is called a head coil send and receive device I believe.  I had an MRI done with all my device in.  It was programmed to off for the MRI and that guard was used.  Now since removal, it seems I am having xrays done to prove the little fragments that broke off in my neck are all gone so that doesn't cause issues like heating up and such.

Best of luck, keep us posted!
Cool
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VNS for TRD implant November, 2006.  Complete device removal including coils April, 2008.

"I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some..." Jason Mraz

ALL MY POSTINGS ON THE VNS MESSAGE BOARD ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE
midwestguy
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 08:58:57 AM »

This FDA notification doesn't make me feel very comfortable about having an MRI: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PublicHealthNotifications/ucm062125.htm

"The FDA has received several reports of serious injury, including coma and permanent neurological impairment, in patients with implanted neurological stimulators who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. The mechanism for these adverse events is likely to involve heating of the electrodes at the end of the leadwires, resulting in injury to the surrounding tissue."
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ericksmc999
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 06:15:36 PM »

Thanks to all for the thoughtful responses
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 11:49:14 PM »

 Wink Alot of diagnostic centers will not do an MRI on anyone implanted with a VNS, and they will xray to make sure there is nothing in there prior to the MRI.  Then there are places that do the opposite.

It's gonna take a lot of proof that those coils and leads won't heat up to get the FDA to change their mind.  BUT, the FDA hasn't done what's right over VNS, so I'd have to say stranger things have happened.  A good question to ask the doc who's stating it won't hurt to have an MRI--how many patients has he put under an MRI without complications and no precautions taken?  I wouldn't be a labrat for him or Cyberonic$, or the FDA.  Well, not willingly.  When it comes to the device and any probs that comes with it, a 2nd opinion is most often necessary because it's hard to find a doc knowledgeable on how to correct the probs VNS causes.

Take care!
Cool
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VNS for TRD implant November, 2006.  Complete device removal including coils April, 2008.

"I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some..." Jason Mraz

ALL MY POSTINGS ON THE VNS MESSAGE BOARD ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE
Birdbomb
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 06:44:48 PM »

I live in Las Vegas and if you have only the electrodes left in like I do, there is NO WAY you will get an MRI.  Even if the Head of Neurology says it shouldn't be a problem, you talk to the Head of Radiology and if possible have them talk to each other.
It is a call for the Head of Radiology to make the decision.  Some years ago a woman was killed here when she was getting a MRI with some type of neuro stimulator, now the radiologists just refuse.

Screw FDA and Cyberonic$

Talk to the Head of Radiology.
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"If you are going through hell, keep going." (Sir Winston Churchill, 1874-1965)
VNS implanted Sept 02, turned off Dec 04, Generator ex-planted Nov 07
Electrodes are in me for LIFE!
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