Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Aftercare

The procedure is lengthy, and the patient will require a short hospital stay afterward to recover from the surgery. Following the procedure itself, the patient meets several times with the neurologist to adjust the stimulation. The pulse generator...

is programmable, and can be fine-tuned to the patient's particular needs. This can provide a higher degree of symptom relief than lesioning surgeries, but requires repeated visits to the neurologist. Pulse generator batteries must be replaced every three to five years. This is done with a small incision as an outpatient procedure. Since the generator is in the chest area, no additional brain surgery is required.

The patient's medications are adjusted after surgery, with a reduction in levodopa likely in most patients who receive DBS of the subthalamic nucleus.



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In neurotechnology, deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical treatment involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain. DBS in select brain regions has provided remarkable therapeutic benefits for otherwise treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. Despite the long history of DBS, its underlying principles and mechanisms are still not clear. DBS directly changes brain activity in a controlled manner, its effects are reversible (unlike those of lesioning techniques) and is one of only a few neurosurgical methods that allows blinded studies.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson's disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003. DBS is also routinely used to treat chronic pain and has been used to treat various affective disorders, including major depression. While DBS has proven helpful for some patients, there is potential for serious complications and side effects.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_brain_stimulation

Other Information

Neurosurgery is one of the longest training periods of all the medical specialties because of the extreme complexity of the nervous system and the advanced technique used in this specialty.


-Neuroscience & Spine Associates

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