Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure where electrodes are inserted into some areas of the brain. The electrodes produce electrical impulses to regulate any abnormal activities of the brain. These electrodes can also manage the chemical imbalances in the brain that can cause several health conditions. The amount of stimulation required for DBS is controlled by a device that is placed under the skin over the upper chest.

DBS procedure is used to treat neuropsychiatric and movement disorders if medications do not work or if they cause any side effects.

Who Needs Deep Brain Stimulation?

All the neurons in the brain communicate with each other using electric and chemical signals. There are several brain issues that can affect these neurons. When those neurons do not work well, certain portions of the brain do not work well. Based on the region affected, you may experience disturbances in the activities controlled by that region.

The DBS process produces electrical signals that make the neurons active and reduce the signs caused by brain conditions. DBS procedure is effective at treating the following conditions:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Essential tremor
  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

How to Prepare for the DBS Procedure?

When you decide to undergo a DBS procedure, the doctor will explain to you the benefits and the possible disadvantages of the process. He also explains the possible risks of placing electrodes. The doctor also conducts several tests to ensure you are suitable for the DBS process. The possible tests are MRI, and CT scans of the brain. Using the test results, the doctor determines the right place to insert the electrodes.

Before performing the procedure, you might be asked to do the following:

  • You may need to stop taking certain medications such as blood thinners
  • Special shampoo and other products may be suggested to take bath to prepare your body for the procedure
  • You should stop eating for at least 8 hours before undergoing the process
  • Refrain from drinking at least 2 hours before the procedure

How is the Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure Performed?

The DBS procedure requires 2 or 3 operations to place the stimulation leads on both sides of the brain and a stimulator battery called a pulse generator.

Placement of leads: Before inserting leads, your scalp hair will be shaved. This allows your head to fit well into the head frame to keep your head still during the procedure. Now, using CT and MRI scans, the region of the brain where electrodes are to be inserted is identified. You will be given local anesthesia to numb the scalp. Then, the neurosurgeon makes a small hole in the scalp using a drill to insert the leads. While placing the electrodes or leads, you will be asked to move your legs, hands, and feet. You will also be asked questions to ensure the leads are placed correctly and are working well. Then the electrode ends will be closed with plastic caps and the incisions will be closed. The number of electrodes to be placed is based on your condition.

Placement of pulse generator: This surgery will be performed on the next day to place a device called a pulse generator. You are under general anesthesia to reduce pain and discomfort during the procedure. A small incision is made under your skin below the collarbone to insert the pulse generator. The wires of leads are placed under the skin and are connected to the pulse generator. You can control the device by turning it on or off to send electrical impulses to the brain.

What Happens After the Procedure? 

A few weeks after placing the pulse generator, the doctor activates your pulse generator device using a remote control. The simulation is personalized based on your case and it takes around months to determine the right settings of the device. The simulations remain the same throughout the day and you can turn them off while sleeping.

The batteries of the pulse generator have a longer span. However, it varies based on the settings and usage. To replace the batteries, a minor surgery needs to be performed and you can get back home on the same day.

What Can I Expect From DBS?

The DBS procedure does not actually treat the disease, but it reduces the signs of the disease. The procedure may not be successful for everyone. The success rate is based on various factors and you should talk to your doctor before the surgery.

If the procedure is successful, it can eventually reduce the signs of the disease, but cannot cure the disease completely.

Want to Undergo DBS Procedure? Meet Dr Vishwak Sena Reddy Today

If you are planning to undergo a DBS procedure to prevent the signs from getting worse, Dr Vishwak Sena Reddy is your go to place. He has been working as a neurosurgeon in Hyderabad for over 14 years and you can count on him. He has helped thousands of patients suffering from neurological issues and helped them lead peaceful life. To know your treatment options or to know if DBS is suitable for you, schedule your appointment with us today.