top of page

DBS Questions to Propose to Your Medical Team

To ensure you get answers to all common DBS questions, use this guide put together by the Parkinson's Foundation as a resource when meeting with your DBS medical team.

What level of experience does the center have with performing DBS? Does the center perform regular DBS surgeries?

Large, well-established DBS centers perform multiple surgeries each month, which can lower the risk of adverse events (unwanted and unexpected medical events resulting from surgery.)

How does your care team work together to ensure the best care for you?

Your care team should communicate with each other to determine and coordinate your treatment and follow-up care. A team approach is key to the success of DBS surgery.

Do I need DBS surgery on both sides of the brain? If so, how much time can I expect between each surgery?

It is common to need stimulation on both sides of the brain. In some cases, only a single side is needed. Typically, when this is the case, each lead will be implanted in separate surgeries that are separated by weeks or months -sometimes even years.

Will my DBS team implant the neurostimulator in my chest at the same time the lead is implanted, or will that be done later?

Some centers require that you have the neurostimulator implanted under the chest wall several days or several weeks after the lead is placed, while most centers will place the neurostimulator on the same day as the brain lead(s).

Who will program my DBS system and adjust my PD medications after the surgery?

For the first several months, it is best to return to the center where the surgery was performed for programming and adjustments. In many cases, monthly visits are necessary to adjust stimulation settings, medications, and monitor for mood and thinking changes. When the programming is working, and frequent adjustments aren't needed, most people can return to their regular neurologist or movement disorder specialist for care.

After surgery, how long will it be before I am able to go home?

Most patients are hospitalized for one night following implantation of the brain leads. Confusion or other concerns could delay your discharge.

Will I be awake or asleep for the procedure?

Different centers use different techniques. Ask your DBS team about their approach.

Disclaimer: The information found within the Surgery section of the Parkinson Association of Alabama Parkinson's Disease Resource Center is for educational and awareness purposes only. The PAA does not condone nor endorse any specific procedure or medical product. Discussion about whether or not you are a candidate for a surgical procedure should be discussed between you, your care partner, and your medical team.


Parkinson's Foundation. Surgical Options, A Treatment Guide to Parkinson's Disease. Page 34-35. "Booklet." 2022

bottom of page