The process of implanting electrodes in certain areas of your brain to control any abnormal impulses is known as deep brain stimulation. The planted electrodes generate impulses that are used to control any abnormalities in the functioning of the brain.
These impulses directly affect specific cells of the brain and help release any blockages. The intensity of the impulses is controlled using a pacemaker-like device that is placed under the skin in the upper region of the chest area.
Why is deep brain stimulation required?
There are certain conditions of the brain such as Epilepsy, essential tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Obsessive-compulsive disorders, and Dystonia.
Apart from these ongoing research states that there are several other conditions such as cluster headache, chronic pain, addiction, dementia, depression, stroke recovery, and traumatic brain recovery for which the therapy could be effective.
Deep brain stimulation is usually referred after the medications fail to improve the condition of patients with the above-mentioned issues.
What are the risks involved?
Deep brain stimulation is a minimally invasive surgery that is considered safe, but like any other surgical procedure carries its risks. The process involves drilling small holes in the skull and surgically placing the device under the skin. The risks involved include:
- A misplacement of the lead that connects the electrodes to the device.
- Chances of a stroke or bleeding in the brain.
- Nausea, breathing problems, and heart problems are very rare occurrences but cannot be ruled out.
The procedure also causes some side effects which include seizures, headaches, confusion, difficulty in concentration, strokes, and infection.
A few weeks after the surgery, the device is turned on and programmed. During this period, the patient often feels certain side effects till the perfect adjustment is attained.
What is the process of the surgery?
Using a stereotactic head frame, the medical team secures the head to prevent any movement during the surgery and uses MRI to map the areas of the brain where the electrodes will be placed.
The surgery can be performed using either general anesthesia or local anesthesia to only numb the area of your scalp. However, no anesthesia is required for the brain as it contains zero pain receptors.
A thin wire with multiple ends is placed into the specific region of the brain through a hole in the skull. This lead is connected to the pulse generator with a thin wire placed under the skin.
During the entire process, both the neurologist and the surgeon keep a close eye on the brain movement for correct electrode placement.
What is the best destination for DBS?
Because of its criticality, DBS requires trained surgeons and highly equipped technology. India is one of the upcoming medical destinations that offers high-profile medical professionals and modern age technology at an affordable cost.
Compared to developed nations like the USA and UK where the cost of deep brain stimulation in India starts at USD 85000, India offers the treatment with a starting cost of USD 25000.
The cost depends on several factors such as the qualification and expertise of the surgeons, location of the hospital, cost of technical expenses, etc.
Some renowned hospitals offering brain stimulation treatment in India include Artemis Health Institute, Sterling Wockhardt Hospital, Fortis hospital, Global health city, and Medanta.