Deep brain stimulation has emerged as a promising approach to treat the symptoms of many conditions such as Parkinson’s. Just like any other procedure, DBS has both benefits and risks. Knowing these can help you evaluate if undergoing DBS surgery is the correct decision for you. You can also talk to an experienced neurosurgeon who can resolve the doubts you have about the surgery.
What Is Deep Brain Stimulation?
Deep brain stimulation is a type of surgical procedure in which the surgeon places electrodes in your head to deliver electric current to a specific region of the brain.
This electricity stimulates your brain cells, thereby making them more active. Thus, helping in controlling the symptoms of various conditions such as Parkinson’s. Your healthcare team will decide if you are a suitable candidate for undergoing this surgery. DBS can be used to treat conditions such as epilepsy, dystonia, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Benefits Of Deep Brain Stimulation
When deciding whether deep brain stimulation will be beneficial for you in the long run, here are some benefits of deep brain stimulation you should consider
a). DBS is successful in reducing your symptoms
Though DBS is not the ultimate cure for your condition, it is effective in reducing your symptoms. This is one of the major benefits of deep brain stimulation. It can help control symptoms such as slowness, tremors, and dyskinesis. In addition to this effect on relieving motor symptoms, it can also improve your mood, energy levels, and quality of life.
B). DBS doesn’t cause any brain damage
Most patients worry about brain surgery because of the possible risk of brain damage. However, in deep brain stimulation, nerve cells are not removed and there is no damage to the brain as well.
c). DBS may reduce your dependency on medications
Decreased dependency on medicines is another benefit of deep brain stimulation. Though having DBS surgery doesn’t mean that you no longer have to take medicines, it still helps in reducing your medication requirements. This can save you from the possible side effects of medicines.
d). DBS can be personalized
Your neurosurgeon can adjust the intensity and frequency of the electrodes as per your condition. Thus, the treatment is personalized. Also, as the symptoms worsen, the stimulator can be readjusted.
e). Having DBS leads to an independent life
The symptoms of movement disorders can make it difficult to perform daily tasks. After undergoing a DBS surgery, patients can see a significant improvement in their symptoms. Thus, allowing them to get back to independent living.
Risks Of Deep Brain Stimulation
Although deep brain stimulation offers many benefits, there are some risks that you should be aware of.
Some of the risks associated with deep brain stimulation are:
- Complications of surgery: Since deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure, there are some chances of complications such as stroke, bleeding, accumulation of fluid, and infection. Fortunately, if you are availing the treatment from an experienced neurosurgeon then you won’t have to worry about the complications of the procedure.
- Invasive nature of the surgery: Deep brain stimulation is an invasive procedure. This can make some patients uncomfortable. Also, you will be required to stay awake during the brain surgery as this will help the healthcare provider in ensuring that the critical areas of the brain are not impacted during the procedure.
- Issues associated with the DBS device: Along with battery replacement, the DBS device can also have issues like hardware malfunction, cable disconnections, and electrode shifting. The batteries of your gadgets and controllers will have to be monitored frequently.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Before undergoing any procedure, in addition to weighing the pros and cons, you should also ask certain questions to your primary doctor. This will provide you with more information about your treatment and recovery. Thus, enabling better healthcare decisions. Some of the questions you can ask are:
- Will DBS therapy be effective for me?
- What are some side effects experienced after DBS surgery?
- What restrictions will I face with DBS?
- Can the DBS system be adjusted according to my symptoms?
- Are there some activities that I will have to avoid after DBS surgery?
Avail DBS Treatment Across the World
There are many different ways that a DBS surgery could be beneficial for your disorder. However, there are downsides to the treatment as well. You should discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure with your neurosurgeon to see if it would be a good option for you.