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During your initial evaluation, you will see a team of specialists. The team works with you to determine if deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is the best treatment for you. An important way to determine if DBS will help is to evaluate you both when you are taking medication and off medication.
You will receive medication instructions before your appointment. If you have essential tremor, you may need to gradually stop using medication. You may take extra medication one day and no medication the following morning, if you have Parkinson's Disease.
The evaluation appointment includes:
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain
Comprehensive assessment by a movement disorders specialist
Computerized balance testing
Physical and emotional readiness assesment for surgery by a neuropsychologist
After your evaluation, the team meets to discuss your case and possible risk factors. If DBS surgery is right for you, you will have a follow-up visit with a neurosurgeon. During the visit, the neurosurgeon answers your questions and discusses surgical options and risks. After the discussion, you will decide together whether to pursue surgery.
Movement disorders team
Our team includes neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, neurologists, a movement disorders specialist, a neurosurgical physician assistant, and a DBS program nurse coordinator.
The week of surgery
You will need to be available for several appointments and tests the week before your surgery. These include:
A meeting with your anesthesia team and an anesthesiologist
An MRI of your brain that will help your surgeon place the device
A presurgery medical history
A physical exam
The day before surgery
The day before surgery, you will come in for preparation for the surgery. First, we will shave your head and numb your scalp.
Next, your doctor will place small titanium screws called fiducials in your scalp. Your surgeon will use the fiducials and a computerized targeting system to precisely place the DBS leads. Once the leads are placed, your surgeon will remove the fiducials.