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The intrathecal portal placement is a safe minor surgical procedure but, as with any procedure, it has risks as well as benefits. The major risks of an in dwelling foreign device is infection and/or local bleeding. Usage of such a device over the long term requires vigilance to maintaining clean technique and decrease the likelihood of infection.
The intrathecal portal accesses the intrathecal space. The medications delivered there may cause numbness and/or weakness and/or sedation depending on which medication is used and what dose is administered. These side effects are normally reversible. You may have some local tenderness at the portal insertion points once the numbing medicine has worn off.
What should I do if any problems develop after I leave the hospital?
If you have any questions after the procedure, the medical staff of the Pain Management Center is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During normal business hours, you can reach either the nurse or physician by calling 650-723-6238. After hours, the physician on call can be reached by calling the Stanford page operator at 650-723-6661.