As with any mechanical device, deep brain stimulation (DBS) generators need to be replaced from time to time and as they age. DBS generators can be replaced at the Functional Neurosurgical Ambulatory Surgery Center (FNASC) in Littleton, Colorado, regardless of whether the original generator was placed by Denver DBS Center or another neurosurgical program.
FAQs About DBS Generator Replacement
Continue reading below to learn more about the DBS generator replacement or go directly to the topic that interests you by clicking on one of these links:
- What is involved in my DBS generator replacement procedure?
- Where can I have my DBS generator replacement surgery performed?
- What do I need to do before my DBS generator replacement surgery?
- What do I need to do the day of my DBS generator replacement surgery?
- What will recovery from DBS generator replacement surgery be like?
- What symptoms after DBS generator replacement should I be concerned about?
- Can I only get my DBS generator replaced at the same place where I had my original DBS surgery?
- Will insurance or Medicare cover my DBS generator replacement?
Conditions We Treat
What is involved in my DBS generator replacement procedure?
DBS generator replacement is required every 4-8 years. Similar to the initial DBS generator placement surgery, the new generator is placed just under the skin in the collarbone area.
For most patients, DBS generator replacement surgery can take place in an outpatient setting and you can go home the same day. The procedure is done under general anesthesia.
Where can I have my DBS generator replacement surgery performed?
No matter where you had your original generator placement, you can have your DBS generator replaced when necessary at the Littleton, Colorado-based Functional Neurosurgical Ambulatory Surgery Center, or FNASC. FNASC offers patients the convenience of having their DBS generator placed and programmed in an outpatient setting and going home the same day. FNASC is a state-of-the-art freestanding surgery center created by Denver DBS Center and Littleton Adventist Hospital.
What do I need to do before my DBS generator replacement surgery?
Each patient is unique and will receive detailed, personalized instructions when their DBS generator replacement surgery is scheduled. In general, patients should do the following unless your neurosurgeon tells you not to.
- Stop taking any blood-thinning medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, 7 days before the procedure.
- Continue taking Parkinson’s or seizure medications and any blood pressure medications until the day of surgery.
- The night before your procedure, shower using a special antibacterial soap called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) from the neck down. Do not use CHG on your face or above the neck.
- Not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery and do not drink alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure.
What do I need to do the day of my DBS generator replacement surgery?
On the day of your surgery, we request that you:
- Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery and that you not drink alcohol for 24 hours before the procedure.
- Take any medications needed the day of surgery with a very small amount of water.
- Shower again before coming to FNASC using chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) antibacterial soap from the neck down. Do not use CHG on your face or above the neck.
- Leave jewelry and valuables at home and remove all makeup before arriving.
- Wear a shirt that buttons rather than one that must be pulled on over your head, as the procedure is performed on your upper torso.
- Arrange for a loved one, friend, or other transportation home, as you will not be allowed to drive following the procedure due to general anesthesia.
What will recovery from DBS generator replacement surgery be like?
After your surgery:
- You may be drowsy for several hours after the procedure, so plan on resting when you return home. However, it is a good idea to take brief walks several times the day of surgery and the day after.
- We recommend that you drink plenty of fluids and slowly return to your normal diet.
- When you leave FNASC, we will provide you with specific instructions for what you can and cannot do for the next few days or weeks, as well as personalized instructions about medications. In general, though, for the first 24 hours, patients should not:
- Drive a vehicle or operate machinery
- Drink alcoholic beverages
- Although you may experience soreness at the incision site, you should be able to resume most normal activities the next day, including showering. You may remove the dressings from the surgery site, but don’t remove the Steri-Strips™.
- For several weeks after the procedure, most patients should avoid:
- Strenuous activity
- Raising arms overhead
- Lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds
What symptoms after DBS generator replacement should I be concerned about?
If you have any questions or concerns, you should not hesitate to call your surgeon. You also can call FNASC at:
- 303-955-5555 or 720-524-7062.
Please call your surgeon or FNASC if you experience:
- Fever of 101 F or above
- Sudden pain you have not experienced before
- Cloudy drainage from the surgery site
- Redness, warmth, or firmness around the surgical site
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Bleeding or oozing from the surgery site that does not stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes
- Increased swelling or numbness of the fingers or toes
Can I only get my DBS generator replaced at the same place where I had my original DBS surgery?
No, you do not need to have your DBS generator replaced at the same facility where you had your original procedure. You have the freedom of getting your DBS generator replaced where you feel most comfortable. Even if your original generator was not placed by Denver DBS Center, we are pleased to offer DBS generator replacement at the Functional Neurosurgical Ambulatory Surgery Center (FNASC).
Additionally, we now offer remote DBS programming which allows you to have your generator programmed at home via a secure telehealth connection.
Will insurance or Medicare cover my DBS generator replacement?
Yes, DBS generator replacement is typically covered by insurance providers and Medicare. We will contact your insurance provider and handle the pre-qualification details.