The Chelsea Hutchison Foundation
It will be such a blessing to be only 10-15 minutes away.
I thought I would give you all a little bit of info on the VNS.
The size of the VNS is about the size of a silver dollar,just a bit thicker.
VNS Therapy is used in addition to medications to help improve seizure control. The vagus nerve is one of the primary communication pathways between the body and the brain. VNS Therapy is delivered by a device (generator) similar to a pacemaker and a thin, flexible wire (lead) that sends mild stimulation to the left vagus nerve. VNS Therapy is not a drug and, therefore, does not have the same side effects and does not interact with other medications. The vagus nerve delivers these periodic stimulations to the brain and helps to prevent electrical irregularities that cause seizures. Treatment is automatically delivered at regular intervals all day, every day so that you do not have to worry about missing a dose.
VNS Therapy is not brain surgery. VNS Therapy involves a minimally invasive procedure, which is typically performed under general anesthesia by a surgeon. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour and patients usually go home the same day. Typically, two small incisions are made—one in a natural crease on the left side of the neck and one in the left chest area, below the collarbone. The generator is typically placed under the skin in the left chest area. A thin, flexible wire connects the generator to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The small scars from the two incisions typically fade over time and become minimally noticeable for many people. Another procedure is required to replace the generator once the battery is depleted. This procedure requires only one incision and usually takes less than an hour. The VNS Therapy procedure is completely reversible.
Ariel will be staying in the hospital overnight,due to her complex medical history and having a bad history of med reactions and allergies.
The VNS Therapy magnet may provide additional benefits for some people, but it is not necessary to use it for your regular stimulation. By swiping the magnet over the generator when you feel a seizure coming on or during a seizure, you or your caregiver will be able to stop the seizure, shorten the seizure, decrease the intensity of the seizure, and improve the recovery period following the seizure. You can also fix or hold the magnet over the generator to temporarily stop stimulation during certain situations or activities when even mild side effects are troublesome, for example, public speaking, singing, exercising or other strenuous activity. The magnet can be applied by any person or caregiver trained in how to use it. If you experience troublesome side effects for an extended period of time, contact your physician.
When we did testing at Harborview we found out that Daniel,Michael and Ariel all have a Genetic Epileptic Syndrome and that Ariel was having seizure activity every 2-3 minutes.
We are praying that the VNS will help to control Ariel's seizures better.
Thank you for praying with us and believing for some improvement for her.God bless,Linn
Information from Cyberonics.