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Local Infusion Pain Management Pump

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What is a local infusion pain management pump?

A local infusion pain management pump is a device that gives medicine for 2 to 5 days. You will get medicine called local anesthetic through the pump. This medicine numbs the area to decrease your pain before, during, or after surgery. The device pumps medicine through the catheter to the place in your body where you need it.

What does the pump system look like?

The pump system includes a round plastic container in the shape of a ball. The container is filled with medicine through an opening at the top. The pump attaches to your clothing, or it may have a special carrying case. Tubing comes out of the pump. A clamp closes off the tubing if needed. A filter in the tubing gets rid of air. A device in the tubing controls the amount of medicine you get. The tubing may have an additional device on it that can give you extra medicine (bolus) when you need it. You will press a button on the device to get the extra medicine.

How do healthcare providers put the catheter into my body?

Healthcare providers will place a catheter before or after you have surgery. They will decide where to put the catheter to best manage your pain. It may be placed near your surgery site. Healthcare providers use a needle to place the catheter. They will tape the tubing to your skin and cover it with a bandage. They may also tape the flow controller to your skin.

What are the benefits of the pump?

You may have less pain if you get medicine through the pump. You may not need to take pain pills, get shots, or get medicine through an IV. There is less risk of side effects or complications from the medicine. You may be able to return to your usual activities because your pain is controlled.

How do I care for my pump at home?

  • Make sure the clamp is open. Attach the pump to your clothing as directed.
  • Keep the filter dry and open. Do not get soap on the filter. This can cause it to leak medicine. Do not put tape over the filter.
  • Do not try to change the settings on your pump. Your pump has the right amount of medicine for you. Do not squeeze the pump, even if you think you are not getting enough medicine.
  • Do not block the flow of medicine. Keep bandages loose where the catheter goes into your body. Tightly wrapped elastic bandages can decrease or stop the flow of medicine.
  • Do not get the pump or catheter site wet. Do not put heat or ice packs onto your body near the flow controller. Moisture may build up and get the pump or catheter site wet. Ask your healthcare provider how to keep the area dry when you bathe.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your skin is red, warm, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have a large bruise around the area where the catheter goes into your body.
  • You are dizzy or your eyesight is blurry.
  • You have ringing or buzzing in your ears.
  • Your mouth, fingers, or toes are numb or tingling.
  • You become more tired than usual, or you are confused.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • The tubing is twisted.
  • You give yourself a bolus and the button does not pop up after 30 minutes.
  • Your pain gets worse even with the medicine.
  • You have a metal taste in your mouth.
  • Your pump is empty or you think it needs to be removed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.