Saint Francis Center for Pain Relief is First in the United States to Utilize Unique Device for Chronic Pain Management

Local physician uses innovative Epiducer system to introduce multiple neurostimulation leads through a single entry point

The Saint Francis Center for Pain Relief recently became first practice in the country to utilize this device, the Epiducer™ lead delivery system for neurostimulation therapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced clearance for this first-of-its-kind system, which allows physicians to place multiple neurostimulation leads through a single entry point.

The St. Jude Medical Epiducer lead delivery system reduces the need for multiple incisions typically required to place more than one neurostimulation lead utilized in spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy for the management of chronic pain. The system also allows physicians to introduce St. Jude Medical S-Series™ paddle leads through a percutaneous entry. Before the Epiducer system, the placement of paddle leads was only possible through a laminotomy, a more invasive surgical procedure that typically requires removal of part of the vertebral bone.

In addition, this minimally invasive system enables physicians to deliver one, two or three different leads through a single entry point to configure and optimize the therapy for each patient. This allows for the management of complex and multifocal pain patterns such as low back pain combined with leg pain. The Epiducer system is created with a highly radiopaque material to provide easy fluoroscopic visualization.

“We are proud and ecstatic to be the first to offer this revolutionary system to our patients,” said Tim Deer, M.D., medical director at the Center for Pain Relief at Saint Francis Hospital. “Through this innovative procedure, our patients will encounter a less invasive surgery which is critical for their recovery.” Not only was Dr. Deer the first physician in the United States to utilize the Epiducer, he was also the first in the world to implant the Eon Mini neurostimulator, the world’s smallest spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain.

Neurostimulation (also called spinal cord stimulation) is used for managing chronic pain of the trunk and limbs and pain from back surgeries that have failed. Mild electrical pulses are carried from the neurostimulator to a lead or leads that are placed in the epidural space near the spine to interrupt or mask the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Electrodes on the lead can be programmed to meet each individual patient’s needs. More information can be obtained about neurostimulation therapy at

Chronic pain affects millions worldwide. According to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults — more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain also costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. Visit the IOM site for more on their “Relieving Pain in America” report.

About St. Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical develops medical technology and services that focus on putting more control into the hands of those who treat cardiac, neurological and chronic pain patients worldwide. The company is dedicated to advancing the practice of medicine by reducing risk wherever possible and contributing to successful outcomes for every patient. St. Jude Medical is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., and has four major focus areas that include cardiac rhythm management, atrial fibrillation, cardiovascular and neuromodulation. For more information, please visit

About Saint Francis Hospital

Saint Francis Hospital is a 155-bed community hospital, providing compassionate quality care for over 90 years in the Charleston area. The Mission of Saint Francis Hospital is to provide a broad continuum of quality health care services to enhance the well-being of the people of Charleston and surrounding communities. Saint Francis Hospital offers a wide range of services to include Advanced Women’s Imaging Center, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, 24 hour Emergency Department, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, One Day Surgery, as well as a wide range of medical imaging and ancillary services.