Vagus nerve stimulation

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a treatment option to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. The device is similar to a pacemaker. In fact, it is sometimes called the “pacemaker for the brain.”

Through surgery, the device is placed under the skin on the chest wall. A wire runs from the device to the vagus nerve, located in the neck. The vagus nerve is an important part of the autonomic nervous system and controls the actions of the body that are not voluntary, such as breathing or heart rate.

After surgery, a neurologist programs the strength and timing of the pulses based on each patient’s specific case. By using a programming wand connected to a laptop computer, the settings can be programmed without entering the body.

The device is then scheduled to start for a specific period (e.g., 9 seconds or 45 seconds) and stop for a period (e.g., 18 seconds or 10 minutes). The device runs continuously, but the patient is usually unaware that it’s even operating.

Please schedule an appointment with us to determine if this treatment is right for you.