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Deep Brain Stimulator insertion: What should we know as anaesthetists?


Gowri De Zylva ,

King's College Hospital, GB
About Gowri
Consultant Anaesthetist
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Wisam Ali,

King's College Hospital, GB
About Wisam
Consultant Anaesthetist
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Keyoumars Ashkan

King's College Hospital, GB
About Keyoumars
Professor of Neurosurgery
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Correction: On 17th February 2016 the spelling of the second author's name was changed FROM Wasim Ali TO Wisam Ali.

Deep brain stimulation is the surgical treatment modality of choice for otherwise treatment resistant and affective disorders such as dystonia, tremor and Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, DBS is now being used or investigated in the management of other conditions such as chronic pain, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette syndrome, obesity, epilepsy and Alzheimer disease.

The exact mechanism of action of DBS is not completely understood. The primary target sites vary according to patient’s symptoms. The various target sites are subthalamic nucleus, globus pallidus, pars internal and ventralis intermedius nucleus of thalamus.

The surgical procedure involves insertion of electrodes into the target area of the brain through a burr hole.  This is achieved through a combination of anatomical/imaging techniques (MRI and CT) and neurophysiological verification such as macro stimulation or micro-electrode recording.  Once confirmed the electrode is connected via the cable to the pulse generator.

The anaesthetic management describes the common and special consideration for awake DBS insertion and insertion under general anaesthesia and postoperative management of these patients. 

In our institute DBS has been practiced for well over a decade, allowing our multi-disciplinary team to build a large experience spanning both the main and experimental indications and across both the paediatric and adult age groups. The scope of this article is to understand the surgical steps and describe the practical aspect of conducting anaesthesia for patients undergoing 

How to Cite: De Zylva, G., Ali, W. and Ashkan, K., 2016. Deep Brain Stimulator insertion: What should we know as anaesthetists?. Sri Lankan Journal of Anaesthesiology, 24(1), pp.4–10. DOI:
Published on 10 Feb 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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