Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is a surgical therapy used at Banner Boswell Medical Center to help patients with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor.
Qualified patients who opt for deep brain stimulation have motor-skill challenges that significantly interfere with their quality of life and cannot be controlled by medication.
Deep brain stimulation therapy works much like a cardiac pacemaker. A pulse generator is implanted beneath the skin in the chest and sends electrical signals through a wire in the neck and up to the region of the brain that controls movement. Leads – thin, insulated wires – typically are placed on both sides of the brain to lessen the effects of tremor and the stiffness and slowness associated with Parkinson's disease.
The surgical procedure is divided into phases:
- Prior to the procedure: An MRI or CT scan is used to map the brain and identify the area in which leads will be implanted.
- During the first surgery: The neurosurgeon inserts the leads through a small opening in the skull and implants them in the target sites within the brain. The patient is awake to ensure correct placement of the leads. The patient typically stays in the Intensive Care Unit overnight and returns home the following day.
- The second phase: Occurs about a week later as an outpatient procedure lasting 45-90 minutes. The neurosurgeon implants the pulse generator and wire extension underneath the collar bone in the chest. Patients typically follow up in their neurologist’s office about a week later to begin programming the device settings.
Deep brain stimulation at Banner Boswell:
- Banner Boswell’s highly skilled neurosurgical team has been performing this procedure since 2004.
- Banner Boswell is one of four centers in the Phoenix metro area and 170 centers in the nation approved to perform deep brain simulation.
- Deep brain stimulation is FDA-approved and covered by most insurance providers, including Medicare.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with deep brain stimulation. Talk with your neurologist to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.