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Can I Wear my Cortisol Pump During Medical Images and Procedures?

Medical tests and procedures can be stressful for anyone. Pumpers may find themselves with the additional worry of what to do with their pump. Some tests or procedures could harm your pump. In some cases the infusion set may get in the way. Read the tips below to find out exactly how to prepare for your upcoming test or procedure.

There are precautions you must take not only to protect your pump during imaging studies, but also to ensure the quality of your images.

Per the Omnipod website, pods should be removed prior to X-ray, CT, MRI or any other medical imaging. The PDM should be kept in a separate room.

If you choose to wear your pod anyway, be aware that if your pod is placed on or near the part being imaged, it may result in a visual artifact, which is the medical way to say it could ruin the study by distorting or obscuring the picture. Just make sure it is away from the area being imaged.

Tandem and Medtronic are not x-ray safe, and will need to be protected. You will either need to disconnect your pump and leave it with the technician, or it will need to be under a lead covering. X-rays are usually very fast and you will probably not need a bolus prior to disconnecting. However, it is always a smart idea to ask the technician how long the study is expected to take.

Your infusion set should not interfere with the study and can usually stay in place. Consult the x-ray technician if you are having images of the area where your inset is placed.

No pump is MRI safe. All pumps will need to be removed prior to the MRI. OmniPod users should bring back up pods to the study. A backup cortisol delivery method like subcutaneous shots or oral steroid should be brought along as an additional precaution.

Inform the technician of your cortisol pump and ask how long the study is expected to take. Bolus for the amount of time you’ll be disconnected. For example, if the study was expected to take 30 minutes and your basal rate is 1u/hr you would want to bolus, probably .75-1u to cover the time you will be in the imaging tube, plus time it will take to get dressed, fill and activate a new pod.

Tubed pumps can be worn right up until you walk into the MRI room. At that time you will need to disconnect and leave your pump with the technician. Ask the technician how long the study is expected to take and bolus for the time you will miss. Let the technician know that the pump will likely alarm if the delivery is suspended. Remember to resume delivery if you suspended it for the study.

Your inset will not interfere with the MRI and can remain in place.

DEXA scans are quick and easy. You can wear your cortisol pump for the study as long as it is kept away from the area being imaged. DEXA scans only image a small area at a time.

The nuclear contrasts themselves do not affect the pump. It is safe to wear your pump during contrast injection and the uptake period.

Per the OmniPod website, pods should be removed prior to X-ray, CT, MRI or any other medical imaging. The PDM should be kept in a separate room.

Your tubed pump has not been tested inside the imaging tube. It is a good idea to remove it prior to the study. Ask the technician how long the study is expected to take and bolus accordingly. For example if the study is expected to take 45 minutes, bolus your current hourly rate to allow for time in the imaging tube and time to get dressed and reconnected.

The ultrasound does not affect the pump. However, use common sense when placing your inset. For example, if you are having a cardiac ultra sound, do not place your site below the left breast where your heart is. If your inset prevents the technician from imaging the area, it will need to be removed.

It is safe to wear your cortisol pump during a mammogram. The infusion set should not be placed on or near the chest or breast tissue.

Per the OmniPod website, pods should be removed prior to X-ray, CT, MRI or any other medical imaging. The PDM should be kept in a separate room.

Your tubed pump should be disconnected prior to CT scan and placed in a separate room. The inset can be left in place as long as it is not in a spot that will affect your images. Talk to the technician if your inset is the the same area being imaged.

You may or may not be permitted to use your pump during surgery. Please consult your medical team prior to the procedure.

If your medical team permits the pump during surgery, be sure your infusion site is away from the area being operated. For example, if you’re having abdominal surgery, the infusion site will need to go somewhere else, like the chest, arm, leg, etc.

If your medical team does not allow the pump to be worn during surgery, it will need to be disconnected and suspended before you are moved into the operating room. You may have to remove the battery if the procedure and recovery are expected to be long.

Ideally, you would leave your pump with a trusted loved one or friend who can keep it safe and return it once you are permitted to reconnect. If your friend/loved one is not available to take your pump, the O.R. staff may place it in a belongings bag or bio hazard bag. This is not ideal, as it gets hard to keep track of after that. As you’re passed from O.R. to recovery, as nurses change, or as you’re moved to a room, the more you move, the more hands your pump has to pass through, and the more chances it will get lost. Recovering from surgery is stressful enough already and trying to ensure your pump is safe adds an additional layer of worry.

The best options are either to wear it during the surgery, or send it off with a friend/ loved one.

Sources

Important Safety Information: Omnipod® Insulin Management System. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.myomnipod.com/safety.

https://www.tandemdiabetes.com/legal/important-safety-information.

https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information