The vagus nerve is one of the primary communication pathways between the body and the brain. Vagal Nerve Stimulation or VNS is a medical device, similar to a pace maker, that is surgically implanted under the skin and below the left collar bone. This is connected to a thin wire lead with three coils at the end which is wrapped around the vagus nerve. The VNS generator sends mild stimulations to the brain and helps to prevent electrical irregularities that cause seizures. Treatment is automatically delivered at regular intervals all day, every day so that you do not have to worry about missing a dose.
VNS Therapy has been clinically proven to reduce the number and intensity of seizures and, in some cases, to completely eliminate seizures altogether. Furthermore, with VNS Therapy, it may be possible to reduce some of your anti-seizure medications as is reported by physicians.
Some of the more common side effects can be: temporary hoarseness/changes in choice toin, coughing, a tickling sensation in the throat and shortness of breath. These effects generally occur during stimulation periods and typically decrease over time, according to Cyberonics, the maker of the device.
The VNS Therapy System was approved as a treatment for medically refractory epilepsy in Europe in 1994 and in the United States and Canada in 1997. VNS Therapy was also approved as a treatment for “Treatment Resistant Depression” for “TRD” in Europe and Canada since 2001 and subsequently in the United States in 2005.
Current VNS Therapy Patients and Potential VNS Patients
Patients currently using VNS Therapy are welcome to visit with us for their dosing needs and general maintenance questions. Patients considering VNS Therapy are welcome to consult with us and learn more about VNS and, more importantly, whether they may be a possible candidate for the therapy.
The descriptions above are for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a complete description or conclusive. It is also not meant to be a diagnostic tool. For more information please see the manufactures website, Cyberonics, INC. (http://us.cyberonics.com/en/vns-therapy/).
Also see additional published material about VNS Therapy.