A Minimally Invasive Solutions For Epilepsy Now Offered
Originally published Spring 2002

For over 50% of patients who are not good candidates for resective surgery, implantation of a vagal nerve stimulator may significantly improve seizure control.
The neurosurgeons of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates continue to offer advanced surgical options to alleviate epilepsy including temporal lobectomy, extra-temporal resections, corpus callosotomy and hemispherectomy. However, when surgery is not practical, our practice offers an effective alternative.

A vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) may be the solution for some of these individuals. For over 50% of patients who are not good candidates for resective surgery, implantation of a left vagal VNS may significantly improve seizure control. A VNS serves as a type of programmable pacemaker for the vagus nerve in the neck. Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates has implanted over 60 of these devices in the past two years in patients ranging in age from six months to 40 years. After surgery, the patients’ neurologists follow them closely to make the necessary adjustments in stimulation parameters. While practice neurosurgeons feel this is an important part of their armamentarium against epilepsy, VNS results in complete freedom from seizures in only 10% to 15% of patients.


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