Brains and Drills: What to Expect with DBS Surgery
In this episode, Larry and his partner, Rebecca, discuss what to expect right before, during, and after DBS surgery. The surgery is scheduled for October 24th, 2023, and this episode was recorded about two weeks before the surgery.
The episode covers the pre-surgery preparations, including the need to stop medication before the surgery, and an informative description of the MRI process. Nurse Nancy, who works at British Columbia’s DBS clinic, provides insights into the surgery day, which involves anchoring a frame to the patient’s head, drilling small holes in the skull, and testing electrode placement to ensure optimal DBS results. The conversation also touches on battery replacement and the possibility of technology upgrades over time.
Nurse Nancy emphasizes the importance of closely monitoring the battery and making adjustments as needed. The recovery period is discussed, with a recommendation to take it easy for about six weeks to allow the brain to heal before turning on the stimulator. The potential reduction in medication is mentioned, with an emphasis on gradual adjustments to ensure a balance between symptom control and medication side effects. The episode provides a detailed and insightful overview of the DBS procedure and what patients can expect throughout the process.