Spinal Cord Stimulation Used to Treat Heart Pain

By: Angela Howard Email
By: Angela Howard Email

"I had a massive heart attack at the age of 40 years old," said 49 -year-old Bruce Wonsch.

Since that attack, Bruce has been on a downward spiral of sorts with his health. Over the last nine years, he's had two by-pass surgeries, 26 stents, angioplasty and a host of other surgeries.

"I've had 40 altogether," Bruce said.

The Tallahassee Native says heart disease runs in his family, but it's Bruce who's been dealt the most damaging hand.

"He kinda had been a walking time bomb. high cholesterol. Diabetes," said Janice Wonsch, Bruce's Wife.

"His pain is constant so it limits everything in his life. It's debilitating"
Doctors at several hospitals told Bruce his only option was a heart transplant ... but Bruce's primary doctor did some research and suggested using Spinal Cord Stimulation or SCS instead. Doctor George Arcos performed the procedure.

"Out of all the studies, the angino patients had the highest success rate at 80 percent."

The stimulator works like a vibrator, sending electronic signals through the spine to the heart area to lessen the pain.
Unlike open heart surgery which leaves a huge scar down the middle of the chest. SCS requires two smaller incisions on the back for the leads and a horizontal opening where the implant is placed.

"It feels like one of those vibrating chairs that you sit in. that's exactly what it feels like."

And it's given Bruce the freedom to get out of bed and get back to life.

"It's really a blessing and I LOVE that those simple things mean so much to us because people take a lot of things for granted, and everything you get to do together can be awesome, even the little things," said Janice.

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