Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment in India
Deep brain stimulation treatment is a surgical procedure used to control the symptoms of certain neurological disorders, especially Parkinson’s disease. Some of the Parkinson’s disease symptoms that are relieved with the help of deep brain stimulation therapy include tremors, walking problems, rigidity, slowed movement and stiffness.
Deep brain stimulation treatment in India can be availed at an affordable cost, at least in comparison to other medically-advanced countries in the world. Despite its sensitivity, it is a popular procedure in India which is conducted all a number of hospitals located across all major cities.
Certain hospitals in India, such as Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, have been there in the field of deep brain stimulation therapy since decades now. These hospitals are equipped with the latest technology used for the treatment of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Deep brain stimulation, commonly referred to as DBS, involves placement of a stimulator in the chest, which is controlled externally by the patient. The stimulator send electrical signals to the part of the brain that procedures neurological disorder symptoms, such as rigidity, tremors and stiffness. The electrical signals suppress the activity of the brain that results in symptoms. As a result, the person is relieved of the symptoms.
Deep brain stimulation in India is available at all major hospitals located across different cities. Many patients visit India to undergo DBS procedure, which is a sensitive surgical intervention involving the placement of an electrical device.
What is the Cost of Deep Brain Stimulation Treatment in India?
The cost of deep brain stimulation treatment in India is one of the major factors that make India the preferred destination for neurology and neurosurgery treatment. A number of medical tourists and patients find the cost of medical treatment in India affordable and cheap and the quality of medical services at par with any other leading hospitals in the world.
Many patients from the UK, US, Singapore, Canada and UAE travel to India for medical treatment. Apart from the affordable deep brain stimulation treatment cost in India, there are several factors that attract medical tourists to India.
Some of these factors include:
- The high quality of medical treatments
- Quick availability of treatments
- No waiting time
- Guidance of highly experience and trained surgeons and doctors
- Availability of all diagnostic and medical facilities under one roof
- Use of high end, modern and latest technology
The Cost of DBS in India ranges from $25000 to $37000, depending on the choice of hospital and the city. The same treatment costs around $70000 in the US and around $60000 in the UK, which is way more than what it costs in India.
Therefore, by travelling to India, a medical tourist saves thousands of dollars. This remains true even when boarding, lodging and other miscellaneous costs are taken into account.
Deep Brain Stimulation Hospitals in India
The best deep brain stimulation hospitals in India are located at the entire perimeter of the country, especially in all the major cities that are well connected through air, rail and road transport. This is the reason why patients from abroad can easily access treatment in the best hospitals for deep brain stimulation treatment in India.
Moreover, the top deep brain stimulation hospitals in India are equipped with all the latest technology used to implant the stimulator and connect it through the wires that transmit the electrical signals to the brain. The neurology and neurosurgery department in these hospitals is run by high experienced doctors, neurosurgeons and neurology specialists, who are educated and trained from abroad.
They hold the expertise and the experience that it requires to handle simplest to complex neurology conditions and are well-versed with the techniques used to manage the symptoms and the condition.
Since DBS is a lengthy and a sensitive procedure, the best hospitals in India also possess the facilities to make patient recover from the procedure after the surgery. The hospitals are equipped with the in-house facilities to make the patients comfortable and relax after the surgery.
Best Deep Brain Stimulation Hospitals
Some of the best hospitals for DBS in India include the following:
Who is the best candidate for DBS??
It is up to the doctors to diagnose and assess whether a patients is a good candidate for DBS is not. Several tests are required to diagnose the condition of the patient. In case of those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the presence of symptoms such as rigidity and tumor is enough to warrant the need for DBS.
Deep brain stimulation treatment can help provide extreme relief from the symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and tremors. This is especially true for cases wherein the medications are not working, the quality of life has been severely affected and the patient is experiencing extreme side effects from the high dose of medications to control PD symptoms.
In addition to the above-mentioned criteria, several other considerations are made before conducting DBS. The age of the patient, overall health status and the presence or absence of any other psychiatric illness such as depression of dementia are also considered before initiating treatment.
How does DBS work?
DBS surgery is conducted to implant a small electrical device called a neurotransmitter around the chest region of the patient suffering from tremors, stiffness, rigidity and other neurological symptoms. The neurotransmitter is always kept on by the patient after the surgery.
The neurotransmitter helps patients send electrical signals to specific areas of the brain. These areas of the brain are where the surgeons have placed the other end of the electrical leads that help deliver electrical impulses.
Sending electrical impulses to these identified regions of the brain helps patients control the electrical activity if the brain that leads to specific neurological disorder symptoms. Specific areas of the brain are responsible for producing different symptoms such as tremors and rigidity. Depending on the symptoms experienced by the patient, specific areas of the brain are targeted.
The electrical signals sent by the neurotransmitter help block the nerve signals sent by the brain that lead to PD symptoms, in addition to others.
Pacemaker vs. Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is often performed with the help of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which helps provide the clearest image of the brain. However, patients who have a pacemaker cannot undergo an MRI during the procedure if they ever need to get DBS treatment.
For such patients, DBS can be performed successfully with the help of a computed tomography (CT) scan, even though the quality of pictures of the brain is not that good. Thus, instead of optimal outcomes, the surgeon expects to get sub-optimal results at the start of the CT-guided DBS. This is discussed with the patient before the surgery.
Surgeons typically face a problem in placing leads in the specific areas of the brain in a CT-guided DBS treatment. This, in turn, affect the final outcomes in terms of stimulation treatment.
Another concern that the patients with pacemaker have before undergoing DBS treatment is about the placement of the stimulator. Typically, a pacemaker is placed in the same chest pocket as that of a DBS stimulator. However, if the pacemaker had been implanted first on the left side of the chest, the DBS stimulator can be placed in the same location toward the right side of the chest.
In some cases, the surgeon may decide to put the stimulator under the skin of the abdomen. This means that the length of the leads would dramatically increase, leading to an increased risk of lead fracture. But since the abdominal area has more padding, the stimulator and the leads are somewhat safe and do not protrude out from the skin.
Recovery After DBS Treatment
DBS is a risky and a lengthy procedure that requires proper aftercare and follows up a visit to the neurosurgeon to check on the progress and recovery. The stimulation is regularly adjusted by the neurosurgeon during the follow-up visit, depending on the needs of the patient and any improvement tin their condition.
The pulse generator attached during the surgery is completely adjustable through programming and can be varied according to the needs of the patient. This can help reduce the severity of symptoms as per individual needs, but the only drawback is that the patient is required to make a visit to the doctor on a regular basis.
Pulse generator battery last for over a period of three to five years and this is when it must be replaced. The DBS battery replacement procedure is an outpatient task during which an incision is made near the placement of the pulse generator (mostly chest or abdomen) and the battery is replaced.
The neurosurgeon also adjusts the medications of the patients after the DBS surgery, the dosage of medications is likely to be reduced after DBS treatment.
Deep Brain Stimulation Risks and Complications
Some of the common DBS complications and risks include the following:
- Problems related to the heart
- Breathing problems
- Headache and confusion
- Temporary pain
- Hardware malfunction
Stimulation of the neurotransmitter may also lead to certain side effects in some patients. Some of the DBS side effects include the following:
- Problem balancing
- Speen problems
- Muscular discomfort such as tightness
- Tingling sensation
- Mood swings