What is Vagus Nerve Stimulation?
Vagus Nerve Stimulation or VNS is a kind of treatment, in which very short electric bursts are sent to the brain via Vagus nerve which is located in the neck. The electric waves come from the battery, which experienced surgeons place under the skin of the patient. This battery is generally placed on the chest for better connection with the vagus nerve.
However, the electric waves need a medium to pass. Hence, leads are also placed under the skin by surgeons that connect the battery in the chest and the vagus nerve. The battery is designed to send electric waves every few minutes.
Now that we know what is vagus nerve stimulation, let us understand who uses this treatment and why. The people who require VNS are the ones with partial onset seizures. Although the treatment of seizures can be done through surgery or medication, it is not possible in all the cases. Therefore, in such cases, Vagus Nerve Stimulation method is used.
Again, this kind of treatment cannot be suitable for everyone. If a patient’s body can be affected by the electronic transmission of the waves, this might not be a suitable option. Besides, people having throat disorders or other problems must not undergo this stimulation treatment.
Out of the 33,000 people who has received VNS treatment, more than 60% has partial seizures, over 15% with Lennox-Gastaut (which is a mixed seizure), and the remaining having general seizure.
Although this is a very useful treatment for people with all kinds of seizures, it may cost you dearly. As soon as the doctor suggests that VNS might be the right option, the only question you will have to worry about is the cost of this treatment. It might cost about $20,000 for the implant procedure. This rate may vary from place to place and types of facilities provided by the hospice. However, it would, in any case, be above $20,000.
Besides, while counting the cost, you will also have to take into consideration the costs you will be incurring to visit the doctor time and again to check if the device is operating properly. However, if you have an insurance that covers this therapy, you don’t have to worry about the costs at all.
This device is safe and usually most magnetic devices like metal detectors, cell phones and hair dryers do not affect its working. However, heave magnets might damage the device. Any kind of treatment that involves deep heat is strictly prohibited once this device is installed. The high temperature might cause the device heat up and affect the vital nerves. There are usually no other problems associated with this device. However, there have been a few cases that keeping the device on during night causes sleep disturbances. If this happens, consult your doctor immediately. If you have any further queries regarding what is vagus nerve stimulation, you can find information on the Internet.