Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Risks

Deep brain stimulation entails several risks. There are acute surgical risks, including hemorrhage and infection, and the risks of general anesthesia. The electrodes can be placed too close to other brain regions, which can lead to visual defects,...

speech problems, and other complications. These may be partially avoided by adjusting the stimulation settings after the procedure. Because a device is left implanted under the skin, there is the risk of breakage or malfunction, which requires surgical removal.

A patient with implanted electrodes must not receive diathermy therapy. Diathermy is the passage of radiowaves through the tissue to heat it, and is used as a physical therapy for muscle pain and other applications. Diathermy poses a risk of death in a patient with DBS electrodes.

Patients who are cognitively impaired may become more so after surgery, and cognitive impairment usually prevents a patient from undergoing surgery.



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Other Information

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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