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Ketamine Infusions Specialist

Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

John H. Bissell, MD

Physiatrist and Pain Management Physician located in Colorado Springs, CO

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that stops your brain from receiving pain messages sent by your nerves. Quadruple board-certified pain management physician and expert anesthesiologist John Bissell, MD, of Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Colorado Springs, Colorado, offers ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant pain. If you have chronic pain that isn't responding to other therapies, call Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to find out more or schedule an appointment online today.

Ketamine Infusions Q&A

What is ketamine?

Ketamine is an anesthetic drug used for surgical purposes for many years. 

Anesthetists use ketamine to control pain during surgery, as it prevents communication between your peripheral nerves (the nerves distributed around your body) and your brain. With this communication disrupted, you don't feel pain.

Ketamine also affects the chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters in your brain. Neurotransmitters affect your mood, and an imbalance is one of the main factors in mental health disorders like depression. In turn, depression and chronic pain often go hand-in-hand.

The combination of ketamine's effects on your neurotransmitters with its pain-blocking properties makes ketamine a valuable drug for people with chronic pain. Research also indicates that ketamine has the additional benefit of possessing anti-inflammatory properties.

What are ketamine infusions?

Dr. Bissell uses ketamine infusions for patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain. He delivers your ketamine infusion with an intravenous (IV) drip directly into your bloodstream.

He begins each patient's treatment with the least invasive methods, such as physical therapy and oral medication. The next option may include injectable treatments like epidural injections, joint injections, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.

If your pain still isn't improving, ketamine infusions are an effective alternative to invasive surgical procedures. Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is one of the few places that offer ketamine infusions covered by insurance.

What happens during ketamine infusion treatment?

Ketamine infusions are an in-office procedure at Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Bissell carefully inserts a needle into a vein in your arm, attaching it to the IV line. The infusion is a fluid that slowly drips through the line and into your bloodstream.

Your ketamine infusion session should take about an hour. While the infusion is taking place, you can read, use your tablet or laptop, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings.

Once the infusion is complete, you stay for a while so Dr. Bissell can make sure you don't have any adverse effects from your treatment. Some patients experience visual disturbances, sensory changes, and sleepiness when they have ketamine infusions.

For optimal benefit, Dr. Bissell usually administers several ketamine infusions at intervals of 3-4 days.

Find out more about ketamine infusions and how they could help reduce your treatment-resistant chronic pain. Call Apex Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or schedule an appointment online today.