Streamlining deep brain stimulation surgery by reversing the staging order

Craig G. Van Horne, Scott W. Vaughan, Carla Massari, Michael Bennett, Wissam S.Z. Asfahani, Jorge E. Quintero, Greg A. Gerhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is approved for several clinical indications; however, the sequencing of DBS surgery and the timeline for implementing stimulation therapy are not standardized. In over 140 cases so far, the authors have reversed the sequencing for staged implantation of DBS systems that was conducive to minimizing patient anxiety and discomfort while providing the opportunity to shorten the time between implantation and programming for therapeutic management of symptoms. Stage I was performed with the patient under general anesthesia and consisted of implantation of the pulse generator and lead extensions and placement of the bur holes. Stage II was completed 1-7 days later, using only local anesthesia, and included stereotactic frame-based microelectrode recordings, semi-microstimulation and macrostimulation, and testing and placement of the stimulating electrodes. Stage I lasted approximately 90 minutes, whereas Stage II lasted approximately 230 minutes. All patients tolerated the procedures and received a complete implanted system. Deep brain stimulation therapy was typically initiated on the same day as lead implantation. When sequencing was reversed and bur holes were placed during the first stage while a patient was under general anesthesia, the patient was able to tolerate the second awake stage and was able to begin stimulation therapy within 48 hours of the second stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1047
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© AANS, 2015.


  • Anesthesia
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Functional neurosurgery
  • Neuronavigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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