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Neurologists may recommend DBS when other therapies are not successful or there are no other treatment options. For example, if medication is no longer working to control tremor associated with Parkinson’s disease or frequent seizures associated with epilepsy, deep brain stimulation may significantly help improve a patient’s quality of life.
Conditions treated through Deep Brain Stimulation include:
Deep brain stimulation is used to treat a variety of neurological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and epilepsy. However, this treatment is reserved for people who aren’t able to get control of their symptoms with medications.
Deep brain stimulation surgery is a two-part process: surgery to implant the electrodes in the brain and a minor surgery to implant the stimulator under the skin near the patient's collarbone. DBS is a stereotactic procedure, meaning it relies on three-dimensional (3-D) mapping with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to pinpoint the target area.
For the brain surgery portion of the procedure, the patient is given local anesthetic and fitted with a special head frame to keep the head perfectly still. Then magnetic resonance imaging is used to map the patient’s brain and identify where they’ll put the electrodes.
The procedure takes three to four hours. Once the electrodes are in place, the surgeon closes the incision.
The second part of the surgery places the stimulator. A few weeks after surgery the impulse generator is turned on, at which time the programing is initiated. The surgeon reopens the incision in the skull to access the lead wires and threads them down to below the collarbone. The surgeon then places the electrical pulse generator through an incision in your chest wall or abdomen and connects it to the lead wires.
Following both procedures, our surgeon will discuss what activities the patient should avoid during the recovery process. The patient will also be taught how to set the stimulator to control the pulse generator.
Patients receive a comprehensive work up by a multidisciplinary team and the benefit of full modality therapy options including acute rehabilitation for post-procedure fine motor programming. Our team includes:
For more information about this groundbreaking procedure, please call (805) 988-7144.