Talking About DBS Therapy

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Reach out to ask questions, request information and sign up to receive the latest about deep brain stimulation.

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Find a Movement Disorder Specialist

Do you have a movement disorder, such as Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor? Deep brain stimulation therapy may help.

Begin to Gain New Ground

If you have Parkinson’s disease (PD) or essential tremor (ET), you can begin moving toward better symptom relief by talking with your doctor about DBS therapy for managing your symptoms. If you are considering deep brain stimulation (DBS), discuss your expectations with your doctor. Your doctor can help you form realistic expectations about the surgery and the benefits of a DBS system like the St. Jude Medical Infinity™ DBS system.

Before you meet with your doctor:

  • Write down questions to bring with you
  • Be ready to take notes to help you remember important points

Be sure to consult with your doctor about the following:

  • Your understanding of how DBS works and the implant procedure
  • The risks and potential complications
  • What would make DBS therapy successful for you and your family members
  • What you are most concerned about regarding DBS therapy
  • The thing that most frustrates you about having PD or ET

When you meet with your doctor, ask:

  • About the severity of your condition
  • What therapies may be best for you
  • What to expect when you receive a therapy
  • What other patients’ experiences with DBS therapy have been
  • What improvements you can expect with DBS therapy
  • What limitations you may have with DBS therapy
  • How often you will have to return for follow-up visits
  • When you can expect to see symptom improvements
  • How often you will have to be seen for programming
  • How often you will need to have your system replaced
  • If you will need additional surgeries

During your discussion, your doctor should give you a clear explanation of your condition and treatment options, as well as the risks and benefits of each option.

Talking with your family, friends and others in your life can also provide welcome support. The decision to undergo DBS therapy is significant for all of you. Consider bringing a friend or family member to your doctor appointments to take notes and help you process the information.