Passing along question from Kenneth Clark to those of you who have had VNS implants: I am getting ready to have my second brain surgery and they are talking about putting the VNS in me. I was wondering if someone could tell me more about it and if it works. I kinda like the idea of the computer chip implant one (RNS) instead of having the VNS. Can anyone help? Thanks!
You Should Probably Go With What Your Doctor Is Advising You To Do, I'm Sure He Wouldn't Tell You Something That Would Be Counterproductive. He Knows Your Case Better Than Anyone Other Than YOU And I Assume You Trust Him Completely. If You Feel Your Provider Is NOT Giving You The Information That Is Best For You Then Maybe You Should Consider Finding A New Neurologist.
The vns is implemented in the left side of Your body above Your rib cage, not exactly above Your heart. The nerve is basically on the left side of Your neck under Your jaw bone. After the vns is implanted people are given magnets a rectangular one maybe 2 inches long and half an inch thick, the other is called the horseshoe magnet. That one is in the shape of a horseshoe that is thicker and is a more powerful magnet. Both fit into a pocket. Sliding the magnet where the vns is implanted turns it on and You feel a pinch in Your neck where the nerve is. That may stop a seizure, lower the strength of the feeling of a seizure etc.
I had the VNS for a couple of years. It seemed to help for a little while but then stopped for me unfortunately. I don't regret having it done at all though, I am happy I gave it a shot. I have said many times, it is reversible, brain surgery is not! I've had the implant removed, I'm able to have any MRI on any part of my body. There is a tiny bit of wire around my vagus nerve but the implant I had was MRI safe, I just let the MRI tech and radiologists know beforehand, so when they see it on the scan they know what it is.
I think that The MotleyMan made a VERY good point----follow your doctors' advice. He/She knows what is best for you. We don't.
@A MyEpilepsyTeam Member
Try this for scary. I was tested for brain surgery after I had my VNS implanted. Here's what they did----the neurologists placed 26 wires all over my head and brain, took me off of my medication, and isolated me in a room. It took 5 days before I went into seizures. Now, the RNS puts a computer chip inside your brain. But the VNS does NOT put anything into your brain----the VNS is placed in your chest and the wiring only goes to the base of your neck. That's it. No probes in the brain, no chips, nothing. See, the vagus nerve is the ONLY nerve that brings messages from the body to the brain. So it acts like a pacemaker for the brain without it actually being in the brain or even touching it. Ask a neurosurgeon. I've had mine since 1998 and I LOVE it. You would receive two strong magnets when you have the implant done----if you feel any type of seizure come on, then you take a magnet and slide it over the implant. That turns the VNS on for 1.5 times as long as it normally turns on for. Your chest will be sore for about 48 hours after the surgery. Every five to seven years, you would need a battery change.
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