Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Surgery

What is deep brain stimulation surgery?

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure to implant 1 or more electrodes in your brain. The electrodes transmit electrical pulses to specific areas of your brain. These block abnormal brain signals that could be causing various neurological disorders.


How it works

Deep brain stimulation involves small holes in the skull to implant electrodes. During the surgery, you will be kept awake to provide feedback on the areas being stimulated. A separate surgery implants the device containing the battery under the skin below your clavicle and over your chest wall.

Why do you need deep brain stimulation surgery?

Deep brain stimulation surgery is a treatment for:

  • Dystonia
  • Epilepsy
  • Essential tremor
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease. This is especially if medication is not sufficient to improve your symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation surgery benefits patients with Parkinson's disease as it:

  • Reduces the severity of symptoms such as dystonia (muscle stiffness), dyskinesia (muscle twisting) or tremors.
  • Helps you regain control of your movements.
  • Preserves your quality of life and independence.

What are the risks and complications of deep brain stimulation surgery?

Deep brain stimulation is a minimally invasive procedure that is considered safe. However, there are some risks from the surgery:

  • Infection, or pain and swelling at the implantation site
  • Misplacement of leads
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Nausea
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
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