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Movement Disorder Surgery Patient Information

Your First Visit

If you are a patient who is considering surgery, or simply wishing to learn more about neurosurgical treatments, you can set up a consultation. All new patients to our Center who are considering surgery are evaluated by Dr. Blair Ford or Dr. Nora Vanegas. We always send out a detailed questionnaire to learn about your condition, previous treatments, your medical history and current medications. It is important to bring the relevant magnetic resonance images to the appointment, if available.

The consultation consists of a detailed interview and neurological examination. At the end, the advantages and disadvantages of surgery are carefully weighed. If a decision to consider surgery is made, a second appointment is set up with Dr. Guy McKhann or Dr. Sameer Sheth. The surgical evaluation consists of another detailed interview and neurological examination with the neurosurgeon. After the appointment, the neurologists and neurosurgeons discuss the case in further detail. Our entire team meets on a regular basis to discuss the best plan for each patient. If surgery appears to hold the best chance for improvement, and can be accomplished with little risk, the patient is offered a date for the operation.

Having an operation is never easy. For surgery of this kind, the patient and the family play a major role in decision-making. There are several pre-operative screening procedures, including general medical assessment, neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing, and electrophysiological testing.

A Guide to Surgery for Parkinson's Disease

Surgery for Parkinson’s disease (PD) has come a long way since it was first developed. Increasingly, patients with advanced PD who are having a difficult time with their medications turn to surgery as a possible treatment option. Brain surgery for PD is considered for individuals who experience disabling tremors, wearing off spells, and medication-induced dyskinesias. Deep brain stimulation, a sophisticated technique based on earlier surgical approaches, is the most recent advance in this rapidly evolving field. Surgery can be dramatically effective in some patients. In others, it may have only limited success. It is very important for all patients who are thinking of surgery for PD to be well informed about the procedures, and realistic in their expectations. It is hoped that this Guide to Surgery for Parkinson's Disease will answer some of the questions that patients and their families need to know.