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Living With DBS Therapy

What Is Life Like With Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy?

Receiving a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system for your movement disorder symptoms is a big step toward living a more independent life. As you begin life with your system, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. It is also important to remember that DBS is a process, and not an event. It does not work simply by turning on the system. Turning the system on is just the start.

Although individual results vary, over the course of the next several months you should gain more control over your symptoms. With an increase in activity and ability, and a reduction in noticeable symptoms, you may feel more confident—giving you greater freedom to live the life you want.

Daily living

Living with a DBS system may mean you have to be careful about which activities you do. Be sure to check with your doctor, who can give you advice about activities that are safe for you and which activities to avoid.

Learn more about daily living.

Programming your DBS System

Your doctor will turn on your DBS system and program its settings at a time that he or she determines is right for you. You may be given the ability to turn your therapy off and on, or to adjust settings—within limits set by your doctor.

Learn more about programming your DBS system.

Traveling with your device

Traveling safely and enjoyably when you have a DBS system is possible when you take into account a few important factors.

Learn more about traveling with your device.

Electromagnetic interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) may disrupt your system’s function. Find out where EMI comes from, how to avoid it and whether you can receive an MRI scan with your implanted device.

Learn more about electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Device battery

DBS systems are powered by a battery. How long the battery lasts depends on your programs and settings.

Learn more about your device's battery.

Getting a replacement device

After several years, your doctor may recommend that you replace your DBS system. There are a number of reasons why you may need a replacement device.

Learn more about getting a replacement device.