Live life on your terms
Thousands of people have faced their Parkison's disease (PD) progression by turning to Boston Scientific DBS. If you have recently had your procedure or are currently exploring the DBS process, here’s what you can expect living with DBS.
Check-up with your doctor
Your Boston Scientific DBS has advanced technology designed to adapt as your Parkinson’s disease progresses. Make regular check-ups a priority with your doctor. Keep track of changes in your symptoms, and discuss them at your check-up, so your doctor can adjust your DBS therapy and maximize your results.
Powering up your life
The remote control is used to turn stimulation on, off, up, down or to change your stimulation program if your doctor has set up different programs for you. It also gives you the status of your battery so you’ll know if it’s time to recharge.
Recharging your battery
We make it easy to recharge your system. Every week or two, place the lightweight, wireless charging collar over your shoulders and relax—you can do it in front of the TV or while reading a book.
Your DBS system at home
A small number of appliances in your home (like the stereo, radio, or refrigerator door) may have magnets that can cause your device to turn on or off. Other household appliances and electronic devices (like computers) are “grounded” properly and will not cause this complication. Your cell phone should not interfere with your system; however, it’s suggested you don’t place your phone directly on top of the device—in a shirt or coat pocket, for example.1
Traveling with your DBS system
Now that you have your DBS System, you’re ready to get back to life including traveling. As you pass through metal detectors or security gates, like those at airports and even department stores, your DBS System may turn off. Before walking through a security gate, show your device identification card to security and request a hand search. If a security wand is used, ask the security personnel to avoid placing the wand over your device.
Proceed with care
Most of your favorite daily activities and exercises should be compatible with your DBS System. Certain sports may risk damaging the hardware of your device. When in doubt, ask your doctor as you introduce new activities into your routine. If your device is accidentally deactivated, it will not harm you. You can reactivate the device using your stimulator or your doctor can provide assistance. You should reactivate your device as soon as possible so your PD symptoms don’t return.
DBS is discrete
A common question is, “Will people notice my DBS system?” Because the DBS stimulator and wires are placed under the skin, they are hardly noticeable from the outside. For thinner people, the stimulator site will be slightly raised, and the wire may appear like a slightly larger vein, but this should not be noticeable through clothing. The incision usually leaves a small scar. Your DBS system is silent and does not make noise that others will hear.
Get answers to more of your questions
Could I be a candidate for DBS?
The ideal candidate is a person with Parkinson’s who continues to respond positively to levodopa treatment but is unable to control motor symptoms with medication alone. Ask your neurologist and other physicians if DBS is a suitable therapy for you and your symptoms.2
Is DBS safe?
Two decades of DBS treatment to over 100,000 people has shown both the short- and long-term safety of DBS.3 DBS surgery should be carried out by an experienced neurosurgeon working as part of an interdisciplinary team. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential side effects, which vary by patient. Though most are temporary and will go away as your therapy is optimized, you should discuss these risks with your physicians.
Can I stop my medication after DBS surgery?
Sometimes successful DBS surgery can lead to a decrease in your medication and potentially reduce its side effects, though the treatment is not intended to replace your medication.4
Will my insurance cover DBS therapy?
For Medicare patients, DBS therapy will be covered. Most other health plans will also cover DBS, though your doctor or hospital may need to provide an authorization prior to the procedure. Call our Pre-Authorization Support team at 855-855-4506 to learn what your insurance will and will not cover.
How long will my DBS system last?
The rechargeable Vercise Genus™ R16 is designed to last at least 15 years. The non-rechargeable Vercise Genus™ P16 system should last 3 to 5 years.*
Is it possible to have an MRI with a DBS implant?
The Vercise Genus™ DBS System does provide full-body MRI access** under certain conditions. If your system does not meet those conditions other imaging options (including X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, and ultrasounds) may be available. Always consult your doctor to learn which imaging modality will be your best option.5
Can I have a DBS implant if I already have a pacemaker?
Typically, DBS batteries are placed in the upper chest, near the area a pacemaker would be. However, a DBS implant can be inserted on the other side of your chest.5
What will I feel when my DBS device is switched on?
During initial programming, you may experience a tingling sensation. This helps pinpoint your ideal settings. Afterwards, most patients hardly notice the device—though some do experience a slight tingling in the arm or leg, or mild tension in facial muscles that often subsides.5
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References: 1. Stanford Health Care. The deep brain stimulator. Accessed July 1, 2021. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/d/deep-brain-stimulation/devices.html 2. Schuepbach WMM, Rau JK, Knudsen K, et al. Neurostimulation for Parkinson’s disease with early motor complications. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:610-622. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1205158. 3. Lozano AM, Lipsman N. Probing and regulating dysfunctional circuits using deep brain stimulation. Neuron. 2013;77(3):406-424. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2013.01.020 4. Timmermann L, Jain R, Chen L, et al. Multiple-source current steering in subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease (the VANTAGE study): a non-randomised, prospective, multicentre, open-label study. Lancet Neurol. 2015;14:693-701. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00087-3 5. Boston Scientific Patient Information Brochure. A brighter future is taking shape: treating Parkinson’s disease with deep brain stimulation. Copyright 2021.
*Battery life is dependent on the stimulation settings and conditions.
**MR Conditional when all conditions are met
The Vercise Genus™ DBS System, Vercise Gevia™ DBS System, and Vercise™ DBS Lead-only system (before Stimulator is implanted) provide safe access to full-body MRI scans when used with specific components and the patient is exposed to the MRI environment under specific conditions defined in the supplemental manual ImageReady™ MRI Guidelines for Boston Scientific DBS Systems.