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After Surgery – DBS Therapy

Essential Tremor

DBS for essential tremor is a long-term treatment that requires your involvement – as well as that of your healthcare team. Following the implantation of the Medtronic DBS system, you’ll work closely with your team to make sure the treatment meets your specific needs.


The length of hospitalisation for implantation of the DBS system varies, but is often just a few days for the pre-operative tests and implant surgery. After your surgery, your doctor or nurse will give you instructions about care at home. These instructions often include information about medications, the healing process after surgery, and when to return to your daily activities.

Most individuals recover quickly and experience little discomfort while healing. However, doctors advise against overexertion for several weeks after implantation.

Your doctor will decide when to turn on your neurostimulator. It's usually turned on after healing is complete (several weeks).


Making a full recovery from surgery is a process that can take several weeks. During the healing process, you will feel some discomfort at the incision sites on your scalp, and at the implant site(s) for the neurostimulator(s). If you notice unusual symptoms, contact your doctor.

Daily Activities and Exercise

During your recovery, follow your doctor's instructions about activities that include bending your neck, raising your arms over your shoulders, or strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects.

Checkups and Monitoring

You may not experience immediate symptom relief from the treatment. In fact, it may take 12 to 18 months after the procedure to reach maximum effect. Visits to your clinic for initial programming after surgery and periodic adjustments are a routine part of DBS treatment.

During these checkups, your doctor may evaluate your comfort and range of motion in the area of the neurostimulator and extension. You may also have an X-ray to check placement of the neurostimulation system.

Adjusting Stimulation Levels

Your clinician will program your to best manage your symptoms while minimising any potential side effects. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to further maximise the benefits of the treatment. It may take more than one visit to adjust the stimulation before the right settings are determined. Your clinician may also allow you to adjust therapy settings on your own using the DBS patient programmer.

Activities to Avoid

While receiving DBS Therapy, be careful when participating in activities that may result in accidents or falls. Sudden jerky movements may cause the lead(s) in your brain to move. Falls may damage parts of the implanted Medtronic DBS System. Surgery may be needed to replace any damaged DBS system parts.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.