The Deep Brain Stimulation Program at UC Davis Health is a multidisciplinary program with a diverse team of experts that includes movement disorder neurologists, a neurosurgeon, nurse practitioners, a neurophysiologist, a neuropsychologist, and a psychiatrist.

Patients who are candidates for the DBS program receive detailed evaluations during pre-operative screening. After meeting with one of the neurologists and the neurosurgeon, they will be referred for “On and Off Testing" with a videotaped evaluation to document their response to their medication.

Each of these testing appointments lasts at least 1 hour. Candidates undergo an extensive 2 to 4 hour cognitive evaluation with the neuropsychologist, and also have an MRI brain scan. After all evaluations have been completed, the DBS team reviews each patient's surgical candidacy during a case conference meeting.

DBS Surgery Procedure and Follow-ups

DBS surgery typically requires two procedures, one for placement of the leads and one to implant the battery (internal pulse generator or IPG).  During lead placement, patients are typically awake during a portion of the surgery to help confirm correct placement. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital after this surgery.

Approximately 2 weeks later, patients return for an outpatient procedure to have their IPG implanted. This is done under general anesthesia.

One month after their DBS system has been placed, patients return to the Neurology clinic for their initial DBS programming. Patients with Parkinson’s disease will hold their medication in preparation for this appointment. The initial appointment takes about 2 hours. Subsequent programming appointments take at least 1 hour.

Patients are seen frequently at first but follow-up appointments eventually occur every 3-6 months as their DBS settings stabilize and patients become more comfortable making changes on their patient programmer.

DBS Classes


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