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Vagus Nerve Stimulation

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Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is designed to prevent seizures by transmitting regular small pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve, a large nerve in the neck.

Your neurosurgeon will surgically implant a small battery under the skin, in the upper left area of the chest. He or she will then thread leads under the skin and attach them directly to the vagus nerve. The procedure involves only two small incisions, takes about an hour to perform, and is often completed on an outpatient basis.

Once the device is successfully implanted, your doctor will program it to deliver small electrical stimulation at regular intervals, adjusting the frequency using a computer. Programming the VNS implant is a painless procedure that takes only a few minutes in the doctor’s office.

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