Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a treatment option designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. The device which provides these pulses is similar to a pacemaker. In fact, it is sometimes called the “pacemaker for the brain.”
Through surgery, the device is placed under the skin on the chest wall. A wire runs from the device to the vagus nerve, located in the neck. The vagus nerve is an important part of the autonomic nervous system. This is the system that controls the actions of the body that are not voluntary such as breathing or heart rate.
After the surgery is performed, a neurologist programs the strength and timing of the pulses based on each patient’s specific case. By using a programming wand connected to a laptop computer, the settings can be programmed without entering the body.
The device is then scheduled to start for a time period (for example, 9 seconds or 45 seconds) and stop for a period (for example, 18 seconds or 10 minutes). The device runs continuously but the patient is usually unaware that it’s even operating.
Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Davis to determine if this treatment is right for you.