On March 30, 2021, Dr. Sherri Haas of Twin Cities Pain Clinic became the first physician in the Twin Cities metro area to implant the new WaveWriter Alpha™ spinal cord stimulator (SCS) system from Boston Scientific. The procedure was completed on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Twin Cities Surgery Center in Edina, Minn.
This successful procedure is the latest in a long line of surgical milestones achieved by the doctors at Twin Cities Pain Clinic and has further expanded our opioid-free therapy options to safely and effectively treat patients suffering from chronic pain.
A Bit About Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal cord stimulation therapies provide chronic pain relief by sending mild electric pulses to the spinal cord to interrupt pain signals traveling to the brain. Originally introduced over 40 years ago, SCS therapy is a drug-free, FDA-approved treatment for people suffering from debilitating chronic pain.
The most current SCS models, like the WaveWriter Alpha, include highly advanced features, such as:
- Implantable batteries barely larger than a silver dollar
- Highly customizable programming settings
Patients can also trial the device, allowing them to evaluate its effectiveness before deciding to proceed with the final implant. If necessary, the implant procedure is even fully reversible.
The WaveWriter Alpha Spinal Cord Stimulator
The WaveWriter Alpha SCS system includes the proprietary Fast-Acting Sub-perception Therapy (FAST™), which is designed to provide patients immediate paresthesia-free pain relief. Paresthesia-based therapy provides pain relief with a light tingling sensation while sub-perception therapy works without that sensation. While paresthesia-free therapy has typically taken a few days or longer to take full effect, FAST can help to provide significant pain relief within minutes.
“Every patient is unique and may respond to certain treatments differently than other patients with the same condition,” said Dr. Haas. “By offering breakthrough technologies like the WaveWriter Alpha system, we can identify and administer optimal therapies to provide the best possible outcomes, while also reducing the need for opioids.”
A Leading Authority in Pain Management
As leading authorities in pain management, with a special emphasis on SCS therapy, Dr. Haas and her fellow Twin Cities Pain Clinic physicians have played a major role in the advancement and introduction of pain management technology. In 2018, Dr. Haas and Twin Cities Pain Clinic Medical Director, Dr. Andrew Will, became the first physicians in Minnesota to implant the original Spectra WaveWriter™ SCS system. In 2020, Dr. Anne Kokayeff became the first female physician in Minnesota to implant the Vertiflex™ intraspinous spacer by Boston Scientific, a device designed to relieve pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). And that’s just naming a couple examples of milestone “firsts.” On account of their expert knowledge and stellar track record, the Twin Cities Pain Clinic doctors have been hand selected by medical device companies on numerous occasions to help launch new pain management therapies into the market.
“At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, our mission is to provide our patients and community the most innovative breakthrough treatment options to improve overall health and wellness,” says Dr. Haas. “I am very proud to take a leading role in living up to that mission by collaborating with Boston Scientific and our other partners in the medical device industry. Introducing these improved technologies will help ensure chronic pain sufferers around the world can look forward to relief and an improved quality of life.”
Dr. Haas is the Assistant Medical Director at Twin Cities Pain Clinic and a board-certified specialist in pain management and rehabilitation. She has been a featured speaker at national pain management educational seminars and a participant in numerous clinical research studies aimed at advancing neurostimulation technology.
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