All patients with spasmodic dysphonia are potential candidates for DBS surgery but no one should rush into surgery.
We would recommend all patients try non-surgical therapy first before considering DBS. If speech therapy or medications can ameliorate your symptoms, then you do not need surgery. Many patients also can enjoy the benefits of Botox for years. Some patients, however, do not like the ‘roller-coaster’ effect of Botox where it takes a while to work, causes a breathy voice and then wares off in a few months. For these patients, DBS is an option.
DBS surgery takes approximately three hours and has two parts. The first part is implantation of the electrode. This is done under local anesthetic while the patient is awake. A small incision is made in the scalp, a dime -sized hole is drilled in the skull and the electrode is placed. The second part is done under a general anesthetic and involves placing the pacemaker under the skin in the chest or belly and connecting it to the electrode.
Patients typically come into hospital on the day of their surgery and go home the following morning.