Asleep DBS surgery is performed while you are unconscious under general anesthesia. A CereTom™ portable computed tomography (CT) machine is used both to target and to verify accurate placement of your DBS electrodes at the time of surgery.
Standard DBS is performed while you are awake and, if you have Parkinson’s disease, requires you to be off your medicine. Cellular recordings are performed to map the intended target, and surgery can last 4-6 hours. Your surgeon uses a local anesthetic to numb the tissue where the incision is made, and mild sedatives are administered to ward off anxiety.
The prospect of being awake on an operating table for brain surgery concerns some patients, as does the requirement to be off medicine. Asleep DBS eliminates the need for you to be kept awake and off medicine. The goal in asleep DBS is to accurately place the electrodes at the target selected by the surgeon preoperatively. This goal is accomplished through intraoperative imaging.
- Date of last review: September 23, 2015
- Author: Francisco Ponce, MD