During your first surgery, electrode(s) will be implanted in your brain. First, a stereotactic frame is attached to your head using four pins while using local anesthesia.
Once the frame is in place, a provider will take a head CT to map out the path of the electrode during surgery.
Your surgical team will shave your hair and numb your scalp where they will make the incision. A surgeon will make small holes in your skull for each incision to allow for placement of the electrodes.
A recording electrode is then passed through these holes and moved forward in small increments, allowing the surgical team to hear the firing of brain cells to help determine the correct placement of the electrode. Your movements or tremors may also be evaluated to help determine if the electrode is in the right area.
Once the target area is found, the recording electrode is switched out for the permanent electrode and the electrode is tested, delivering stimulation to your brain to see if there are any significant side effects.
During this time, you’ll be asked to perform different movements and tell the surgical team if you feel any of your symptoms change.
Once the electrode is in the proper place, a cap is placed over the hole in the skull to keep the electrode in place, and your surgical team will close the incisons with staples or sutures.
After surgery, your team will perform another CT scan to confirm proper placement of the electrodes. You can expect to stay in the hospital overnight. Most patients are discharged the next day.
After your first surgery, you should resume taking medications as directed.