3 – 6 Months
What Is A Neurostimulator Surgery?
Individuals may lose their mobility and control due to the damage that occurs in the areas where some specialized cells involved in the movement control of the brain gather and / or the insufficiency of the production of substances called neurotransmitters responsible for this control.
The most important surgical method used in the treatment of neurological disorders that cause these damages is the neurostimulator (brain pacemaker).
Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker), which is one of the adjustable and controllable surgical methods, is especially effective on patients with essential tremor (uncontrolled tremors during voluntary movements), Parkinson’s disease, dystonia (involuntary contraction).
Thanks to the brain pacemaker, the electrodes placed on the patient can be controlled without touching the patient, and the disease can be controlled by making adjustments to correct the patient’s complaints.
Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) operations performed using advanced technology carry less risk than other neurosurgery operations. The quality of life of patients who underwent brain pacemaker surgery, especially Parkinson’s patients, can increase and their daily life can continue in a normal course.
In Which Diseases Is Neurostimulator Used?
Neurostimulator (Brain pacemaker) is used to minimize the symptoms of some diseases.
- Parkinson’s disease,
- Tremor disorders seen in some parts of the body (Essential Tremor),
- Involuntary contraction diseases (dystonia) seen in some parts of the body,
- Tic disease (Tourette Syndrome),
- Obsessive compulsive disorders,
- Major depression.
Studies are carried out to use brain pacemakers in the fields of Alzheimer’s and obesity as well as these diseases.
What are the effects of Neurostimulator (Brain Pacemaker) Treatment?
After brain pacemaker operations, patients can return to their daily lives very quickly.
The daily lives of Parkinson’s patients and patients who experience involuntary contractions change depending on these symptoms.
Causes such as tremor attacks and excessive muscle contraction cause patients to be unable to control their movements. Thanks to the brain pacemaker, patients suffering from these symptoms return to the initial stages of their illness.
While the majority of patients who have had a brain pacemaker operation reduce their drug doses, some of them stop using their medications altogether. Although the pacemaker affects the symptoms, it does not completely eliminate the disease. Most neurological diseases are caused by damage to certain parts of the brain. The brain pacemaker does not restore these damaged areas to normal, but it is effective in relieving symptoms such as tremor, inability to control movement, slowness in movements in the patient, which develops due to the dysfunction of this area.
Individuals who are in the 10th year of the disease and have severe Parkinson’s disease can return to the first stage of the disease after brain pacemaker operations.
Patients who cannot perform their daily tasks such as
- Wearing clothes,
- Preparing food or
- Tying shoes and
- Who are disconnected from social life can continue their daily life without any help.
How Is Neurostimulator (Brain Pacemaker) Surgery Performed?
The purpose of the neurostimulatır (brain pacemaker) applications is to give electrical stimulation to the damaged areas of the brain with impaired electrical activity at regular intervals. For this purpose, it is necessary to first map the patients’ brain.
MR and other imaging methods are used for the map.
Then, considering this map, the areas where the electrodes should be placed are determined and thin cables that will provide electrical activity are placed in these determined areas.
The battery that will give the electrical stimulation is placed under the collarbone or in the chest cavity.
Although the general lines of the brain pacemaker surgery are in this way, a series of procedures are performed before, during and after the surgery.
Brain pacemaker surgeries can be performed while the patient is awake or put to sleep under anesthesia. This is determined by the patient’s illness and physician preference.
- In the operations performed while the patient is awake, a small hole is made in the area where local anesthesia is applied by the surgeons and electrodes are placed in the areas determined on the brain map. Although patients are conscious during this procedure and adjustment of electrodes, there is no pain or feeling of pain. The batteries are placed under the skin of the patients, usually inside the rib cage. For this reason, general anesthesia is applied to the patients so that the patients do not feel pain or pain during the operation.
In the surgery performed by putting the patient to sleep under anesthesia, the patient is first put to sleep. Later, the electrodes are placed in the targeted area and then the pacemaker implantation is performed in the same session. Brain pacemaker surgeries are shown among the most risky brain operations. Although the operation times vary from patient to patient, the average is between 2-5 hours.
What to expect After Neurostimulator Surgery?
On the first day after brain pacemaker surgery, patients need to be in the hospital due to the possibility of some complications. It is normal to have pain in the head areas of the patients after surgery. As well as pain, dizziness is one of the common effects. If these temporary pain and dizziness are abnormally severe, doctor intervention is required.
Although neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) surgeries are one of the less risky operations, some complications and side effects are possible, as in any other surgeries. Vascular occlusions, infections, bleeding, visual disturbances, loss of balance and nerve damage are some of the complications that may be experienced.
What are the Risks of Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) Surgery?
Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) operations carry less risk than other surgeries performed in the field of neurosurgery. However, it has some risk factors that are likely to be seen with any surgery.
Studies show that serious complications seen in neaurostimulator (brain pacemaker) operations are around 2% -3% on average. Compared to these serious complications, smaller complications are seen in approximately 10% of patients. Some complications that can be seen during and after neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) surgery are:
- Brain bleeding,
- Wound problems
- Loss of vision
- Slips in the brain electrodes,
- Infection problems,
- Contact disorders.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NEUROSTIMULATOR (BRAIN PACEMAKER)
Does the Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) affect daily life?
The neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) is used to eliminate the symptoms of some diseases does not affect daily life. Those who have a brain pacemaker can maintain their daily life just like healthy individuals.
How long can the Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) be used?
The neurostimulator (brain pacemaker), which has a similar function with the battery, also has a lifespan. The life span of the brain batteries used for different diseases also varies.
- Brain pacemakers applied to Parkinson’s patients are generally used for 3-5 years.
- In patients with dystonia, battery life is shorter due to application differences. Rechargeable brain batteries can be used for more than 5 years. The expected life of these batteries is about 15 years.
Can patients with Neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) be engaged in physical activity?
Yes. Patients with brain pacemakers can do all kinds of physical activities like healthy individuals. They can engage in physical activities such as regular exercise, swimming, sports activities such as football and tennis. However, it is necessary to avoid extreme sports and driving in order to avoid accidental head injuries.
Who is NOT right candidate for Neurostimulator (Brain Pacemaker) Surgery?
Patients who will have a neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) must meet some criteria.
Patients who has one of the following criteria is not right candıdate for NeurStimulator (brain pacemaker):
- Patients with early-stage Parkinson’s disease who respond to medication.
- Patients with moderate and severe dementia,
- Patients with severe depressive attacks, and
- patients with anesthesia disability.
Is infection seen after brain pacemaker application?
Most of the studies conducted indicate that 3% of infection cases are seen after neurostimulator (brain pacemaker) applications. Most of these infection cases are seen in the chest area where the power supply is placed.
Can patients with naurostimulator (brain pacemakers) benefit from radiological imaging?
MR imaging, tomography, brain imaging methods and X-Ray devices do not affect patients with neurostimulator (brain pacemakers). However, body imaging with an MR device is not recommended for these patients.