Lots of people dealing with epilepsy attempt a number of various seizure medicines with differing levels of success. Research study reveals that the opportunities of coming to be seizure-free reduction with each succeeding brand-new medicine routines.

If you have actually currently been recommended 2 or even more epilepsy medicines without success, you might intend to discover non-drug treatments. One alternative is vagus nerve excitement (VNS). This alternative has actually been revealed to dramatically decrease the regularity of seizures in individuals with epilepsy.

Right here’s a short introduction of the fundamentals to aid you make a decision whether VNS can be ideal for you.

What it does

VNS utilizes a little tool dental implanted right into your upper body to send out pulses of electric power to your mind via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve set attached to the electric motor and also sensory features in your sinuses and also esophagus.

VNS elevates your natural chemical degrees and also boosts specific locations of the mind associated with seizures. This can aid reduce the reoccurrence and also intensity of your seizures and also normally enhance your lifestyle.

Exactly how it’s dental implanted

Dental implanting a VNS tool entails a brief surgery, typically lasting 45 to 90 mins. A certified doctor executes the treatment.

Throughout the treatment, a little cut is made on the top left side of your upper body where the pulse-generating tool will certainly be dental implanted.

A 2nd cut is after that be made on the left side of your reduced neck. Numerous slim cables that attach the tool to your vagus nerve will certainly be placed.


The pulse-generating tool is usually a level, rounded item of steel consisting of a little battery, which can last for as much as 15 years.

Basic versions commonly have a couple of flexible setups. They typically giving nerve excitement for 30 secs every 5 mins.

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Individuals are additionally offered a portable magnet, commonly in the type of an arm band. If they really feel a seizure coming on, it can be brushed up throughout the tool to supply additional excitement.

Newer VNS tools usually have autostimulation functions that reply to your heart price. They might permit even more modification regarding just how much excitement is supplied throughout the day. The most up to date versions can additionally inform whether you’re existing level after a seizure.


The VNS tool is typically turned on at a clinical consultation a number of weeks after the implantation treatment. Your specialist will certainly set the setups based upon your requirements making use of a portable computer system and also a programs stick.

Commonly the quantity of excitement you get will certainly be established at a reduced degree at. It will certainly be progressively enhanced based on just how your body reacts.

That it’s for

VNS is normally made use of for individuals that have actually not had the ability to regulate their seizures after attempting 2 or even more various epilepsy medicines and also are unable to have epilepsy surgical procedure. VNS is ineffective for dealing with seizures that aren’t triggered by epilepsy.

If you’re presently getting various other types of mind excitement, have a heart irregularity or lung condition, or have abscess, collapsing spells, or rest apnea, you might not receive VNS treatment.

Dangers and also adverse effects

Although the danger of experiencing problems from VNS surgical procedure is uncommon, you might experience some discomfort and also scarring at your cut website. It’s additionally feasible you can experience singing cable paralysis. This is short-term in many cases yet can occasionally end up being irreversible.

Normal adverse effects of VNS after surgical procedure can consist of:

  • difficulty ingesting
  • throat discomfort
  • migraine
  • coughing
  • breathing issues
  • prickling skin
  • queasiness
  • sleeping disorders
  • hoarse voice
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These adverse effects are typically workable, and also might decrease in time or with changes to your tool.

If you’re making use of VNS treatment and also require to have an MRI, ensure to educate the specialists carrying out the check regarding your tool.

In specific instances, the electromagnetic fields from the MRI can trigger the leads in your tool to get too hot and also melt your skin.

Check-ups adhering to surgical procedure

After VNS surgical procedure, it is essential that you take a seat with your clinical group and also talk about just how usually you’ll require to set up brows through to check your tool’s performance. It’s a great suggestion to bring a friend or member of the family along to your VNS examinations for assistance.

Lasting expectation

Although VNS treatment will not heal epilepsy, it might decrease the variety of seizures you have by as much as 50 percent. It can additionally aid reduce the moment it takes you to recoup from a seizure, and also might aid to deal with anxiety and also enhance your basic feeling of health.

VNS does not benefit every person, and also isn’t suggested to change therapies like drug and also surgical procedure. If you do not see a significant renovation in the regularity and also intensity of your seizures after 2 years, you and also your medical professional must talk about the opportunity of transforming the tool off or having it eliminated.

The takeaway

If you have actually been looking for a non-drug alternative to match your existing epilepsy medicines, VNS might be ideal for you. Talk with your medical professional regarding whether you receive the treatment, and also whether VNS treatment is covered under your medical insurance strategy.

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