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It's natural to wonder what to expect when choosing deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for Epilepsy. Along the way, the support and expertise of a neurologist, epileptologist, and neurosurgeon who have training and experience with DBS will be available.
The neurologist — typically an epileptologist — will evaluate the patient to see if DBS is a good option. The evaluation usually includes:
The doctor will share the results the patient, and together will decide whether to go forward with the therapy.
The doctor will create images and maps of the brain to help guide the placement of leads during the surgery. An MRI or CT scan will be conducted to capture images of the brain.
There are two parts to the DBS surgery: implanting very thin wires (leads) in the brain and placing the pacemaker-like device, called the neurostimulator, under the skin of the chest. The two parts may be done on the same day, or two different days.
A few weeks later, the doctor will turn on the neurostimulator and adjust the stimulation to best control the symptoms while minimising side effects.
Over time, the doctor will adjust the therapy settings in the device to meet the specific needs. Individualised therapy settings are programmed in the clinic using wireless communication between the implanted device and a clinician programmer. Every individual is different, so programming optimisation may take place over several months to find the settings that best reduce your seizures and potential side effects.
Always follow the doctor's guidance about which activities are okay and which to avoid.
It's extremely important to attend all of the checkups with the doctor who manages the DBS therapy. The doctor will:
Patients & caregivers: This information is designed to provide you with helpful educational information but is for information purposes only, is not medical advice, and should not be used as an alternative to speaking with your doctor. No representation is made that the information provided is current, complete, or accurate. Medtronic does not assume any responsibility for persons relying on the information provided. Be sure to discuss questions specific to your health and treatments with a healthcare professional. For more information please speak to your healthcare professional.