VNS – Vagal Nerve Stimulation

What is Vagal Nerve Stimulation?

  • Vagal Nerve Stimulation, or VNS, is a therapeutic option available for patients with uncontrolled seizures.
  • The procedure is an “adjunct” to seizure medications, not a full replacement for medications.

What is involved with “VNS”?

  • If you have a seizure disorder, which is hard to control with medications, then Dr. Athni will assess whether you might qualify for VNS.
  • If you are deemed a good candidate for VNS, you will be referred to a local surgeon for VNS implantation.
  • The surgeon will implant a small electrode in your neck, as well as a “power generator” in your left chest.
  • You will then return to Dr. Athni for programming and management of your VNS.

How is VNS programmed?

  • Approximately 1 week after your VNS surgery, Dr. Athni will connect a hand-held computer to your VNS.
  • Using the hand-held computer, the VNS is digitally programmed, attempting to stop your seizures.
  • The programming is done very slowly and methodically. It can take 6-8 weeks to complete the initial programming, requiring weekly visits to our office.
  • Additional programming changes will be made beyond the 6-8 weeks as medically necessary.

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