Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery (DBS) Risks, Possible Side Effects

With any surgery there are the risks of bleeding and infection. Although rare, when significant bleeding occurs, it can be serious. Bleeding can behave like a stroke. Infection in the brain is meningitis.

Stimulation related issues include paresthesias (numbness and tingling sensations), dysarthria, nasal and hypophonic speech (low volume), muscle contractions, disequilibrium. Usually, these can be improved with programming over time.

Difficulties at surgery such as suboptimal testing due to difficult microelectrical recordings, dementia, testing with sedation, may result in less than wanted results requiring repositioning (further surgery) of the brain electrodes.