Are You Awake During Deep Brain Stimulation?

In a general sense, deep brain stimulation can be described as a pacemaker for the brain.

As the name suggests, awake (standard DBS) surgery is performed while the patient is awake, and is a surgical option from patients suffering from essential tremor, Parkinson’s, dystonia, and some psychiatric disorders.

Is deep brain stimulation dangerous?

Although deep brain stimulation is minimally invasive and considered safe, any type of surgery has the risk of complications. Also, the brain stimulation itself can cause side effects.

How do you do deep brain stimulation?

DBS surgery involves placing a thin metal electrode (about the diameter of a piece of spaghetti) into one of several possible brain targets and attaching it to a computerized pulse generator, which is implanted under the skin in the chest below the collarbone.

How long does deep brain stimulation surgery take?

The length of the operation also depends on the technique used by each centre, but it often lasts between 3-6 hours from start to finish. As long as the electrodes are accurately placed, without complications, the recovery period usually lasts from between 3 to 5 days.

Do they put you to sleep for brain surgery?

An anesthesia specialist (anesthesiologist) will give you some medication to make you sleepy for parts of your awake brain surgery. You’ll be sedated and sleepy while part of your skull is removed in the beginning of the surgery, and also when doctors reattach the skull at the end of the surgery.