The first Vagus Nerve Stimulator(VNS) was implanted in 1988, as a therapeutic option for medically intractable epilepsy, when elective epilepsy surgery was not appropriate.
As the number of implanted vagus nerve stimulators grows, so does the need to remove or revise the devices.
Which is a little tricky, because of the spiral stimulating electrodes, wrapped around the nerve.
Especially if the VNS treatment has proven ineffective.
And of course, what goes in, must come out.
Anyway you look at it, there’s more surgery involved.
The up side to having a VNS is better seizure control.
The down side is discomfort, headaches, temporary hoarseness and shortness of breath.
Meanwhile, the success rate is iffy. Studies have shown that:
About 1/3 of patients have had the number of their seizures reduced by half or more; less than 5% of patients become seizure free…
About 1/3 have shown benefit but have had their…
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