Medtronic SpecifyTM SureScanTM MRI Surgical Leads Rounds Out Exclusive Portfolio Designed for Access to Full-Body MRI*BRAMPTON, ON, Nov. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Medtronic Canada, a subsidiary of Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT), announced the Health Canada licence and the first Canadian implants of the new Specify™ SureScan™ MRI surgical leads, which are indicated for use as part of Medtronic's implanted neurostimulation systems (also known as spinal cord stimulation, or SCS) for chronic pain. In 2013, Medtronic introduced the first implantable neurostimulation systems for use in the treatment of chronic, intractable back and/or limb pain that are licenced for full-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans under specified conditions. The licencing of Specify SureScan MRI surgical leads establishes Medtronic as the only company in Canada with a full portfolio of SCS systems licenced by Health Canada for full-body MRI.* This means physicians in Canada can now offer a Medtronic full-body MR Conditional SCS system best suited for their patients regardless of the type of neurostimulator (rechargeable or non-rechargeable) or lead type (percutaneous or surgical). "The majority of patients implanted with SCS devices will need MRI studies in the future, and until now they have either undergone other more invasive examinations or had the SCS device explanted. Physicians and patients can now approach this therapy with the confidence that their ability to access future diagnostic procedures won't be lost. This innovation has raised the bar in the delivery of neuromodulation for treatment-refractory neuropathic pain" said Dr. Mohammed F. Shamji MD, PhD, FRCSC, neurosurgeon at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. "An important development in the field of neuromodulation is the availability of MRI conditional devices. These devices allow for patients to undergo routine MRIs and continue to benefit from neuromodulation therapy - a previously unmet need for many of our patients. Our team is pleased that we can now offer this technology as a potential treatment option." said Dr. Suneil Kalia, MD, PhD, FRCSC, neurosurgeon at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at Toronto Western Hospital. Back pain is estimated to affect 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. 1 For some people, noninvasive options, such as medication and physical therapy, provide adequate relief; others may require surgery, nerve blocks, or medical devices, such as spinal cord stimulators or drug pumps. Spinal cord stimulators are medical devices implanted under the skin that send mild electrical pulses to an area near the spine. These pulses disrupt the pain signals traveling between the spinal cord and the brain, offering patients effective pain relief and improved function. 2 "The use of MRI as a diagnostic tool has grown significantly. Studies show that 82 percent of patients implanted with a SCS are expected to need an MRI within five years of receiving their implant. 3 Medtronic appreciates the opportunity to offer physicians the only full portfolio of SCS systems in Canada that allow patients access to full-body MRIs, facilitating optimal patient care and timely interventions," said Sandrine Moirez, senior business director of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic Canada. "Medtronic remains committed to the advancement of spinal cord stimulation therapy overall and continues to drive technological advancements to ensure greater access to MRIs across many of our implanted Medtronic systems, such as pacemakers, ICDs and deep brain stimulation systems." While the benefits of neurostimulation therapy are well documented, some individuals with an SCS system have traditionally been limited when receiving MRI scans, as the scans produce electromagnetic fields that can damage the device or cause injury to the patient. These patients have the option of undergoing computerized tomography (CT) scans, which work well for imaging bones and other hard materials, but are less effective in examining soft tissue. In some cases, people needing an MRI have had the system explanted prior to imaging.