GETTING DBS: WHAT TO EXPECT DBS THERAPY FOR EPILEPSY
You're probably wondering what to expect if you choose deep brain stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Epilespy. Along the way, you will have the support and expertise of a neurologist, epileptologist, and neurosurgeon who have training and experience with DBS.
Your neurologist — typically an epileptologist — will evaluate you to see if DBS is a good option for you. The evaluation usually includes:
The doctor will share the results with you, and together you will decide whether to go forward with the therapy.
Your doctor will create images and maps of your brain to help guide the placement of leads during the surgery. You will have an MRI or CT scan to capture images of your 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, your doctor will turn on the neurostimulator and adjust the stimulation to best control your symptoms while minimizing side effects.
Over time, your doctor will adjust the therapy settings in your device to meet your specific needs. Individualized therapy settings are programmed in the clinic using wireless communication between the implanted device and a clinician programmer. Every individual is different, so programming optimization may take place over several months to find the settings that best reduce your seizures and potential side effects.
Always follow your doctor's guidance about which activities are okay and which to avoid.
It's extremely important to attend all of your checkups with the doctor who manages your DBS therapy. Your doctor will: