The VNS Surgery Itself

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/2/2008 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Darren,
You seemed to be interested in the VNS, so I will share the surgery with you.
IT takes about 50-90 minutes.  It is usually aoutpatient.
First they make a pocket in the muscles of the upper left chest where a pacemaaker would go.  Then they putthe implant in there and somhow wiggle the sillicone lead up the side of your neck to teh vagus nerve where they wind 3 wire electrode around the Vagus nerve , then they go back tothe VNS and hook the lead up to it adn turn it on jsut so it running but not actually "turn on".  Some Neuros like patients to come from the OR with it already on and some don't until their patient are healed.  I was one of the oen whocame from teh OR with it on.
The run on cycles which the doocs set for them.  Usually on a Five minute 30 seocnd sycle.  Mine is on the five minutes OFF 30 seconds ON cycle.  When the 30 seocnds comes around I lose my voice and thatis also when the brain is being stimulated. 
My amps are set at 2.25, but the neuro had to go up slowly toget there and he has been done turning up for a long time.
Right now he just reads the VNS and how many swipes I made and at what time and the date that I did it at.
I have gone from having 10-12 szs a day to 5-7 in a 2 month span which is inbetween my appts.
I haveto wear a speacial magnet on my wrist so that when I feel and arua or a sz coming on I can jsut swipe the VNS adn it stops them.  But it sometimes won't, and then I wil lstill ahve a sz.
BEtween aura and sz I have about 30 seconds to get somewhere safe before it hits.
You will have 2 inscsions from teh surgery one in a crease in you neck from where that gaines access to your Vagus Nerve to put the electrodes on it and one in your left cheat where the VNS goes.  The neck part is the most painful becasue they were acutally "playing" around wiht that nerve.  It hurt so bad I could hardly fell the pain from the cut in my chest.
Anyway the VNS sends up elcertical impulses ar regular intervals up the lead to the elctrodes that send it to teh brain that is to intruppt any abnoraml activity that would cause a sz.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 10/5/2008 7:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for sharing that Nancy. I think the VNS surgery is fascinating and although it is not something I need right now (I have had 2 in the last 12 months) I still enjoy learning about new things. Also, I know there are people on HW that are having it / need info on it but I have not been able to tell them much before.

Thank you again

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