Deep brain stimulation (DBS) refers to the procedure of implanting a device on both sides of the brain to send electrical signals to specific parts of the brain and regulate brain activities. It blocks the faulty nerve signals causing different neurological disorders. The device will be connected to the long-wires stimulator go under the skin of neck and chest. A DBS system consists of three components including the IPG or neuro-stimulator, lead, also called the electrode, and extension wire that all parts are placed inside the body. The patient can control it on and off. The DBS requires precise preoperative planning. So, MRI and CT scans of the brain should be examined to determine the target areas.
It might need an additional surgery or remove the device due to breakage of the wire in the neck or some complications such as infection.
Step 1: inserting electrode in the brain
While the area is numbed with local anesthesia, the electrodes are inserted in the specific areas of the brain. The patient should be conscious/alert as accuracy of the procedure should be confirmed through the patient’s reactions to the what are asked him/her.
Step 2: inserting a battery-powered stimulator
When inserting electrodes in the brain is performed successfully/ satisfactorily, the patient goes under general anesthesia to place a battery-powered stimulator under the skin of the chest. It allows the patient to adjust the side effects and can control the symptoms with a handheld wireless controller.
DBS procedure provides some benefits for the patients that may include the following:
- Controlling all body parts’ symptoms as it is performed on both sides of the brain
- Adjusting the stimulation parameters
- Controlling the continuous symptoms through a day
- Patients can receive the future therapies
DBS Surgery also includes some disadvantages such as:
- High cost
- Requiring expertise and training
- Time consuming procedure for both physician and patients
- Hardware problems
Generally, each surgery includes some risks. The complications of deep brain stimulation may include:
- Bleeding in the brain
- Blood clots
- Reactions to anesthesia