Are patients sedated during deep brain stimulation surgery?

For the first part of the surgery that involves brain mapping, the patient is conscious or may have light sedation. It is interesting that the brain itself has no nerve endings, so we are able to map the brain with electrodes without the patient suffering any pain. The reason we need the patient to be awake is that we listen for signaling patterns of the brain cells that allow us to target the overactive areas with accuracy. We are also able to look for improvements in tremor and speed of movement in the operating room, and thus need the patient to be awake and cooperative.

Nader Pouratian, MD
The goal of deep brain stimulation, which is generally referred to as DBS, is to improve function and quality of life. That is best achieved by being able to interact with you during surgery to make sure we’re getting the benefits from the stimulation while limiting the side effects. However, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of being awake, the surgery can be done while you are asleep (sedated).

This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

Continue Learning about Parkinson's Disease Treatment

What is Subthalamic Nucleus deep brain stimulation?
Nader Pouratian, MDNader Pouratian, MD
Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation refers to deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease....
More Answers
Did lesioning surgery work?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Sadly, lesioning surgery was not always able to reduce negative symptoms, and sometimes it resulted ...
More Answers
What Is the Risk Associated with Deep Brain Stimulation?
What Is the Risk Associated with Deep Brain Stimulation?
How Far Away Is Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's?
How Far Away Is Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.