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Vagus Nerve Stimulation Specialist

Indiana Neurology and Pain Center

Interventional Pain Management Specialists & Neurologists located in Indianapolis, IN

Damaged nerves may affect body function or serve as a source of chronic pain. A nerve conduction study is a noninvasive test that helps find damaged nerves. At Indiana Neurology and Pain Center, with offices on the east and west side of Indianapolis, Indiana, neurology specialist Samiullah Kundi, MD, performs nerve conduction studies on-site, which he may combine with electromyography (EMG). To schedule a consultation to learn more about the test, call the nearest office, or book an appointment online today.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation Q & A

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that causes abnormal brain activity that results in seizures. Anyone can develop epilepsy. 

However, seizure activity from epilepsy may vary from mild to severe. Ongoing medical management is needed to minimize seizure activity and improve quality of life.

To help manage epileptic seizures, Indiana Neurology and Pain Center provides vagus nerve stimulation.

What is vagus nerve stimulation?

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a device that prevents epilepsy seizures. It works by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain through the vagus nerve. Your vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that runs from your brainstem to your colon. 

Similar to a pacemaker, the VNS device goes under your skin. Most patients don’t feel any of the electrical impulses the device delivers.

VNS is also a treatment option for depression. 

Am I a candidate for vagus nerve stimulation?

When you visit Indiana Neurology and Pain Center for a vagus nerve stimulation consultation, your neurology specialist performs a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you're a good candidate for the device. 

They may consider you a good candidate for VNS if you have epilepsy and seizure activity that doesn’t fully respond to anti-seizure medication or can’t tolerate the medication’s side effects. 

What happens during vagus nerve stimulation placement?

Indiana Neurology and Pain Center performs VNS placement as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Placement takes 45 to 90 minutes.

During the procedure, your provider makes a small incision on the upper left side of your chest for placement of the implant. 

Then, they make a second small incision on the left side of your lower neck, along the crease of your skin, for the electrical wires that connect the implant to your vagus nerve.

Once placed, your provider programs the strength and duration of the electrical impulses to reduce seizure activity. The amount of stimulation varies. However, your provider typically starts at a low-level setting and slowly increases as needed. 

Vagus nerve stimulation won’t cure epilepsy, but many patients experience a significant reduction in seizure activity and improved quality of life. It may also take months or years for you to experience the full benefits of the device. 

To schedule your vagus nerve stimulation consultation, call Indiana Neurology and Pain Center, or book online today.