Hear what our patients our saying about life with DBS

Now that I've had DBS surgery, I believe my future is bright. I believe I've been given a new lease on life, and that's pretty exciting. —Kenneth B. Boston Scientific DBS Patient
Fountain Hills, AZ

It was a very easy transition from 'let's think about it' to 'let's make the decision.' —Ken G. Boston Scientific DBS Patient
Daytona Beach, FL

Knowing the debilitation that he had before [DBS], and what he's like after the procedure—it's night and day. —Barb G. Ken G’s Wife and Caregiver
Daytona Beach, FL

I'm 54 years old and I wasn't ready to throw in the towel. —Suzanne F. Boston Scientific DBS Patient
Miami, FL

Now there's nothing that she really can’t do. She feels whole as a wife and a mother. She [drives], she goes shopping… We just went away and were hiking, and she was way ahead of me. I couldn't keep up with her. I'm very grateful. —Steve F. Suzanne F’s Husband and Caregiver
Miami, FL

Living with your DBS System

Therapy success starts with regular check-ups

Your Boston Scientific DBS has advanced technology designed to change as your Parkinson's disease progresses. At your regular check-ups with your doctor, discuss any change in your symptoms so your doctor can adjust your device to bring relief.

Charging your rechargeable DBS system

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.

Learn more about recharging your system

¿Habla Español? Click here to watch this video in Spanish.

Using your DBS remote control

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.

Learn more about how to use the remote that comes with your DBS system.

¿Habla Español? Click here to watch this video in Spanish.

Your DBS system at home

Most household appliances and electronic devices (like computers) that are in proper working order and are grounded properly will not interfere with your deep brain stimulation system.

Some appliances may have magnets that can cause your device to turn on or off, however.

And while you can use a mobile phone, it's suggested that you don't place the phone directly on top of the device, in a shirt or coat pocket for example.

Traveling with your DBS system

Passing through some theft detectors or security gates, like those at airports and department stores, may increase the stimulation or turn off your DBS system.

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 it over your device.

Activities to avoid

You should be able to return to most of your favorite daily activities and exercise once your DBS system is implanted, however certain sports or exercises can increase the risk of damaging your system hardware. Your doctor can tell you if there are certain activities you should avoid.

Replacing your battery

Each time you see your doctor for a check-up, your battery level and device performance will be checked.

If you have a rechargeable system, your battery may never need to be replaced. If you have the Vercise PC DBS system, your battery longevity will depend on how much stimulation you're programmed to receive each day, but the average battery life is around 3 to 5 years.

If you're a Medtronic DBS patient who's due for a battery replacement, make sure you know your options. Learn about how you can give your battery a boost before you go for your next appointment with your neurologist.

Do you have more questions? Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions

Post-implant support

We're always here for you if you need us, and are just a phone call or email away, but if something doesn't feel right, call your doctor. In case of an emergency, call 911 immediately.

Resources and Tools

Post-implant support

Take action

This information booklet gives you more information on DBS, including some frequently asked questions.

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FAQs

Have questions about DBS? We've got you covered. Below are some of the top questions.

Expand all questions
  • 1: Is DBS safe?
    Two decades of DBS treatment to over 100,0001 patients has shown both the short and long-term safety of DBS.2,3,4,5 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 can be reversed or reduced through stimulation, you should discuss these risks with your physicians.
  • 2: Could I be a candidate for DBS?
    The ideal candidate continues to respond positively to levodopa treatment but is unable to control the motor symptoms of his or her disease with medication alone. DBS surgery would be carried out by a neurosurgeon working as part of an interdisciplinary team. Your neurologist and other physicians with whom you work closely can determine if DBS is a suitable therapy for you and your symptoms.
  • 3: Will my insurance cover DBS therapy?
    For Medicare patients, the majority of your cost for 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.
  • 4: 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.
  • 5: How long will my DBS system last?
    The rechargeable Vercise™ and Vercise Gevia™ systems are designed to last at least 15 years.** The non-rechargeable Vercise™ PC system should last 3 to 5 years.
  • 6: Is it possible to have an MRI with a DBS implant?
    Vercise DBS Systems are contraindicated for MRI, however many other diagnostic imaging options are available to DBS patients. Common methods like X-rays, CT scans, PET scans and ultrasounds are all compatible with Vercise, Vercise PC and Vercise Gevia. Always consult your doctor to learn which imaging modality will be your best option.
  • 7: Can I have a DBS implant if I already have a pacemaker?
    Typically, DBS implants are placed in the same location as pacemakers. However, a DBS implant connected to extension leads can be inserted on the right side of your chest or under the skin of the abdomen.
  • 8: Can I travel with my DBS implant?
    Yes, you can travel with your DBS system. Metal detectors, X-ray machines, security scanners, and other security devices willnot damage the implant, but may cause unintentional stimulation. The implant may also activate metal detector alarms, so carrying your patient ID card with you at all times is recommended.
  • 9: 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.
  • 10: Does the DBS device make a noise?
    No, the DBS device is completely silent.
  • 11: Will other people be able to notice my DBS device?
    Since the DBS stimulator and wires are placed under the skin, they are hardly noticeable from the outside. For thin patients, 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.

As you look for additional information on DBS and Parkinson's disease, you may find the information from these organizations helpful: