Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Pallidotomy is performed in patients with Parkinson's disease who are still responsive to levodopa, but who have developed disabling drug treatment complications known as motor fluctuations, including rapid wearing off of drug effect, unpredictable...
"off states" (times of low levodopa levels in the blood), and disabling dyskinesias. Those who are very elderly, demented, or with other significant medical conditions that would be compromised by surgery are usually not candidates for pallidotomy.
The surgical candidate should discuss all the surgical options with the neurologist before deciding on pallidotomy. A full understanding of the risks and potential benefits must be understood before consenting to the surgery.
The patient will undergo a variety of medical tests, and one or more types of neuroimaging procedures, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomagraphy (CT) scanning, angiography (imaging the brain's blood vessels), and ventriculography (imaging the brain's ventricles). On the day of the surgery, the stereotactic frame will be fixed to the patient's head. First, a local anesthetic is applied at the four sites where the frame's pins contact the head; there may nonetheless be some initial discomfort. A final MRI is done with the frame in place to help set the coordinates of the GPi in relation to the frame.
The patient will receive a mild sedative to ease the anxiety of the procedure.
Pallidotomy is a procedure where a tiny electrical probe is placed in the globus pallidus (one of the basal ganglia of the brain), which is then heated to 80 degrees celsius for 60 s, to destroy a small area of brain cells. Pallidotomy is used to treat dyskinesias in patients with Parkinson's disease.
For a neurosurgery, as for any other surgery, it's important to always bring x-rays and any other medical records the patients has.
-Dr Catherine McAuley
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