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Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease

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Is Age a Factor in Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation has been successful in treating people of different ages. However, each person should be assessed individually as to their stamina and overall health before considering surgery.

Where Should Deep Brain Stimulation Be Performed?

The first and most important recommendation is that the deep brain stimulation procedure be performed in a place where there is a multi-disciplinary team of experts. This means neurologists and neurosurgeons who have experience and specialized training in performing these types of surgeries. You want to pick a surgeon and facility that performs this type of surgery on a regular basis.

Will I Be Asleep During the Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure?

You will remain awake during most of the deep brain stimulation procedure. This allows the surgical team to interact with you when testing the effects of the stimulation. Small amounts of local anesthetic (pain-relieving medication) are given in sensitive areas. The vast majority of people experience minimal discomfort during the procedure.

What Should I Expect After Deep Brain Stimulation?

You may feel tired and sore but will be given medication and kept comfortable after your deep brain stimulation procedure. Also, you may have irritation or soreness around the stitches and pin sites.

As with any surgery, there are some guidelines and limitations that you should follow after DBS. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor and ask questions before surgery. Understanding what you will be experiencing and knowing what to expect afterward can help ease some of the natural anxiety that comes with any medical procedure.

When Will I Be Able to Go Home After the Deep Brain Stimulation Procedure?

The average hospital stay for deep brain stimulation surgery is 24 to 48 hours. 

How Should I Care for the Surgical Area Once I Am Home?

  • Your stitches or staples will be removed seven to 10 days after surgery.
  • Each of the pin sites should be kept covered with band-aids until they are dry. These should be changed every day as necessary.
  • You will be able to wash your head with a damp cloth, avoiding the surgical area.
  • You may shampoo your hair the day after your stitches or staples are removed, but only very gently.
  • You should not scratch or irritate the wound areas.
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