An innovative, first-of-its-kind MRI-safe neurostimulator recently released from Medtronic is now available in Arizona at Center for Pain and Supportive Care in Phoenix to patients suffering from chronic pain, but whose reoccurring need for MRI scans prohibited neurostimulation as a treatment option.

Dr. Lisa Stearns considered the world’s leading physician in intrathecal drug delivery and an expert in neurostimulation was selected by Medtronic as the first doctor in Ariz. authorized to implant the new device. With SureScan® Neurostimulators, Medtronic provides the only neurostimulation systems that have FDA-approved labeling for MRI scans under specific conditions of use.

“This new MRI-safe neurostimulator revolutionizes our industry and opens the door for so many people suffering from chronic and debilitating pain,” said Dr. Stearns, founder and medical director of Center for Pain and Supportive Care. “Patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes and anyone who receives reoccurring MRI scans, have never had stimulation as a treatment option because of the risks. We can now look at people previously treated with medication and offer them a drug-free approach to treating their pain through stimulation with no risk of drug interactions. For cancer patients in particular, this is what we’ve been waiting for.”

A neurostimulator is a device that is surgically placed inside the body that delivers mild electrical signals to the epidural space near a patient’s spine through one or more thin wires, called leads. The electrical signals cause a tingling sensation in the area of a patient’s chronic pain. It sends out mild electrical impulses that reach the brain faster than the pain signal can arrive. Neurostimulation provides pain relief by blocking the pain messages before they reach the brain.

Neurostimulation provides advantages over other therapies for chronic pain. Unlike other treatments or surgeries, it does not involve medication, it does not have to be a permanent procedure as the neurostimulator can be surgically removed if a patient decides to pursue an alternative treatment and unlike oral medications that circulate throughout a patient’s body, neurostimulation targets the precise area where pain is felt.

For more information, contact Center for Pain and Supportive Care at 480-889-0180 or visit