Some children are not candidates for surgery if they suffer from certain types of seizures:
In these cases, surgeons may try an alternative involving the vagus nerve, which is a nerve that starts in the brainstem and goes down the neck and into the chest. Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is an alternative for children whose seizures are not well-controlled with medications and who are not candidates for a brain operation to eliminate seizures. The VNS surgery is performed at the main hospital by Lurie Children's epilepsy neurosurgeon. The battery-operated vagal nerve stimulator is put in under the skin on the child’s left side of the chest near the armpit. During surgery, the neurosurgeon implants the stimulator and tunnels its wires under the skin to the vagus nerve in the neck.
Advanced Practice Nurse, Neurology and Epilepsy Center
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neurology and Epilepsy Center