What Happens After Diaphragm Pacemaker Surgery?
As with any medical procedure, you likely have questions about what to expect after your diaphragm pacemaker is implanted. Because the surgery is simple and non-invasive, you will likely need to stay only one night for observation. If you experience any pain or discomfort, your physician can prescribe pain medication as appropriate, but most patients experience only fatigue or soreness depending on their level of sensation.
Following the successful NeuRx DPS® implantation surgery, the focus moves to your customized diaphragm conditioning. Because your diaphragm likely weakened while you were on a ventilator, you may only be able to breathe using the NeuRx DPS® for a short period of time. The device will be used to strengthen your diaphragm—which is the process we refer to as conditioning—to gradually extend the time off of the ventilator.
You will work with a trained clinician to determine comfortable stimulation settings. This involves programming your device’s external pulse generator (EPG) for the specific volume of air to be taken in during diaphragm contractions. The goal is to create a breath that is both effective and comfortable. Know that the device’s settings can be adjusted only by a trained clinician who can determine the optimal conditioning to maximize your diaphragm’s performance.
What Happens During a Diaphragm Conditioning Session?
Your initial conditioning sessions will last as long as you can tolerate being off the ventilator. This can range from minutes or hours and usually will occur 3–5 times a day. You may begin conditioning in the hospital, at a rehabilitation hospital, or at home. Before you are discharged from the surgical treatment center, you will be given specific conditioning instructions from your care team. Be aware that you may be instructed not to use the device immediately in order to give your body time to heal from surgery.
Do you have additional questions about the diaphragm conditioning that will occur following the NeuRx DPS® implantation? We invite you to discuss the procedure with your physician, utilize our available patient resources, or contact our team.