• DBS Group photo

The Deep Brain Stimulation Program at UC Davis Health is a multidisciplinary program with a diverse team of experts that includes neurologists specializing in movement disorders and epilepsy, neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, a neurophysiologist, neuropsychologists, and a psychiatrist.

Patients who are candidates for the DBS program receive detailed evaluations during pre-operative screening. After meeting with one of the neurologists and the neurosurgeon, they will be referred for the DBS evaluation. For our movement disorder patients, this will include “On and Off” medication videotaped evaluation to document their response to their medication. Each of these testing appointments lasts at least 1 hour. Candidates undergo an extensive 2- to 4-hour cognitive evaluation with the neuropsychologist, and have an MRI brain scan. After all evaluations have been completed, the DBS team reviews each patient's surgical candidacy during a case conference meeting.

The UC Davis Health DBS Program currently implants the following DBS systems: Medtronic Activa and Percept, Abbott St. Jude Medical Infinity, and Boston Scientific Vercise Gevia.   

DBS Surgery Procedure and Follow-ups

DBS surgery typically requires two procedures, one for placement of the leads and one to implant the battery (internal pulse generator or IPG).  Depending upon the situation, patients may be awake or asleep for the procedure. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital after this surgery.

Approximately 1-2 weeks later, patients return for an outpatient procedure to have their IPG implanted. This is done under general anesthesia.

For movement disorder patients, initial programming will occur one month after their DBS system has been placed. Patients with Parkinson’s disease will hold their medication in preparation for this appointment. The initial appointment takes about 2 hours. Subsequent programming appointments take at least 1 hour.

Patients with epilepsy will have their systems turned on shortly after implantation and the appointments are typically shorter.

All patients are seen frequently at first, but follow-up appointments eventually occur every 3-6 months as their DBS settings stabilize and patients become more comfortable with their system.

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