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Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a technique where a thin electrode wire is placed in a small part (nucleus) in the brain – this site varies depending upon the condition being treated. For example, for essential tremor (familial tremor), the thalamus (VIM nucles) is targeted; for Parkinson’s disease, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is targeted; for dystonia (with humanitarian device exemption) the globus pallidum (GPi) is targeted. While surgeons have used stereotactic frames affixed to the skull in the past, we have used a frameless technology which we feel is more comfortable to the patients.

Our operations are done in 4 stages: (1) outpatient clinic procedure for placement of bone screws, followed by CT and MRI scan acquisition; (2) inpatient awake surgical procedure for placement of DBS electrode into the target of choice; (3) outpatient surgical procedure for connection to the battery/generator; (4) outpatient clinic procedure for turning on and adjusting the generator. Careful guidance is provided throughout each phase, and the entire procedure (steps 1 to 4) is done within about 2 weeks.

Last Modified: February 26, 2010

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