VNS Therapy can help control seizures and improve your overall quality of life. The team at The Center for Neurology and Neurophysiology, PA, offers VNS Therapy for drug-resistant epilepsy at their convenient location in Frisco, Texas. To find out if VNS Therapy is right for you, call or book an appointment online today.
VNS Therapy, or vagus nerve stimulation, is an FDA-approved treatment for epilepsy and depression. The vagus nerve is one of 12 pairs of cranial nerves that attach to your brain. The nerve passes through your neck on each side of your body on its way to your lower abdomen.
This therapy involves surgically implanting a vagus nerve stimulator beneath the skin on your chest. A wire runs under your skin to connect the device to the vagus nerve in your neck.
As many as one-third of people with epilepsy don’t completely respond to drug treatment. If you’ve already tried two or more epilepsy medications without success, you may want to consider VNS Therapy.
VNS Therapy changes the way your brain cells work by delivering electrical stimulation to specific areas of seizure activity. The stimulation is painless. In fact, you probably won’t even notice it’s happening.
Studies show that vagus nerve stimulation reduces seizures in people with epilepsy by about 28% in the first three months. Another longitudinal study showed that improvement in seizure control continues over time, with a 75% seizure reduction 10 years after VNS placement.
First, the team at The Center for Neurology and Neurophysiology performs a comprehensive neurological exam and reviews your medical history to make sure you’re a good candidate for VNS Therapy.
If you have a breathing problem, such as asthma or sleep apnea, your provider may advise against VNS Therapy, as this can worsen your condition.
Surgery to implant a VNS device typically takes an hour and a half. During this time, you may be asleep under general anesthesia or awake with local anesthesia and gentle sedation.
Your surgeon makes one incision on your chest, close to your armpit, and another on the side of your neck to place the device. A few weeks after surgery, you return to The Center for Neurology and Neurophysiology to get your device programmed to meet your specific needs.
When the VNS device is turned on, it delivers electrical stimulation at set intervals. If you sense a seizure coming on, you may be able to initiate an electrical pulse with a handheld magnet.
If epilepsy drugs aren’t working for you, call The Center for Neurology and Neurophysiology to learn more about VNS Therapy or book an appointment online today.