Jaslok docs perform twin path-breaking brain surgeries

In twin path-breaking surgeries at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai last week, neurosurgeons successfully implanted the most advanced Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) system in two patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and dystonia.

The Vercise system by Boston ScientificThe procedure involved implanting a brain pacemaker which sends electrical impulses to specific parts of the brain for treatment of tremors.

According to neurology experts, the technology offers significant improvement over previous DBS devices.

"Earlier, the battery life was low and patients had to undergo repeated invasive surgeries for battery changes every three to four years. The new Vercise system by Boston Scientific has an extended battery life of up to 25 years," said Dr Paresh Doshi, the director of neurosurgery and functional neurosurgery at the hospital.

Among the two beneficiaries of the surgeries conducted on 17 March is a 12-year-old boy, who has been suffering from dystonia.

"His was a full-term, forceps-assisted delivery which led to transient birth asphyxia. He also suffered from neonatal jaundice, which caused secondary brain damage. His parents noticed delayed milestones in mental and physical development since he was seven months old.

However, in spite of these difficulties, he has been attending a special needs school and has reached an education level of Std III," said Doshi.

He added that dystonia is a very difficult disease to programme and treat with DBS, and in western countries, patients are programmed and called for follow-up every week to assess the benefit.

"Ayush being from Indore, this wasn't possible. The only option for him would have been to stay in Mumbai for long periods. The new system, however, has the flexibility of offering multiple programmes. With four different programme sets, doctors can let the parents choose the best one for Ayush, which will minimise the titration time for therapeutic benefit," said Doshi.

Speaking about the surgery, Parkinson's disease patient M M Singh, 69, said, "I feel much better after the DBS procedure. The recharging system is convenient and easy to use. I am glad that this system is expected to minimise the need to undergo regular replacement surgeries and related complications."