Is DBS right for you?

describe the imageAre you considering deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, dystonia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder?

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Denver DBS Center

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has helped more than 100,000 patients over a quarter of a century take back their lives. DBS helps control tremors by delivering tiny electrical signals into one of three target areas of the brain that control movement. 

DBS has been proven effective for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

And now, the Denver DBS Center is pleased to offer patients the new two-step Asleep DBS that reduces the number of procedures and surgery time, allows patients to remain asleep during all surgeries, and improves electrode placement. 

Why Choose the Denver DBS Center?

  • One of only a few centers in the world to provide both Asleep and Awake DBS procedures
  • More than six years of experience performing hundreds of DBS surgeries
  • Complication rate well below national average
  • Superior electrode placement, the most vital aspect of the surgery
  • Customized care and attention, with a patient concierge service, coordinated pre- and post-surgery visits,  and inpatient programming
  • Partners with your neurologist

 

Katie Strittmatter underwent Asleep DBS to treat Parkinson's disease at Littleton Adventist Hospital. The surgery was performed by Dr. David VanSickle of the Denver DBS Center. Watch Katie's story in her own words.

 

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Busting Deep Brain Stimulation Myths and Advancing Treatment for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

 

Dr. David VansickleDeep brain stimulation is no longer an experimental procedure for people in the most desperate situations. DBS has been used successfully in more than 100,000 patients during the past quarter of a century. A multitude of studies have shown its effectiveness and safety, and deep brain stimulation research and advancements are occurring nearly daily.

Yet millions of patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and other motion disorders are suffering today with symptoms that have virtually stopped them from living the type of life they relish. Most of these people are continuing to live with these symptoms either because they have not been provided with accurate information about deep brain stimulation or they do not have access to the procedure.

My name is David VanSickle, MD, PhD, and I am a board-certified neurosurgeon who has performed more than 400 deep brain stimulation procedures over the past seven years. I have seen this procedure literally change lives—not just those who have the procedure but for their loved ones and caregivers as well.

Because of the lack of information – and the abundance of misinformation about deep brain stimulation -- I am writing this blog to help provide objective evidence-based information.

Here are just a few of the facts I will be exploring with you:

  • Deep brain stimulation is NOT experimental. DBS has been used successfully in more than 100,000 patients. It was approved in 2002 by the FDA and is covered by Medicare and all major insurance companies as a STANDARD treatment.
  • Deep brain stimulation can be used for patients in all stages of illness. A study published in 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that patients don’t have to wait until their symptoms have become unmanageable to have DBS. And a study published this year in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that DBS increases the lifespan for people with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Deep brain stimulation can now be performed while the patient is asleep. The use of CT scanning during surgery made this possible beginning in 2011. While some centers are just beginning to offer asleep DBS, I have been offering it since 2013 and now perform nearly all DBS procedures at the Denver DBS Center this way. This year we became the first in the world to offer robotically guided asleep DBS surgery.

In coming weeks, I’ll help you look closer at these advancements as well as bring you new information on surgical treatments for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and other motion disorders.

I also want to make this blog into a dialogue and I encourage you to post comments and ask questions. If you don’t agree with something I say, post your thoughts and let’s engage in a discussion. If you are unclear about something, post a question. I can’t always promise you that I’ll respond instantly, but I do promise that I will respond and that I will provide you with the best evidence-based research available. 

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