How To Do A DBS

How to do a DBS…  This caught my eye.  ‘How to do a DBS’ was a search term that someone typed into their search bar to – I’m assuming – find out about how DBS is done.  Or else… they are planning on performing it on their own, the internet as their guide.  Perhaps it’s the economy that prompts people to seek less expensive,  alternative routes to acquiring the DBS surgical procedure.


So as not to leave this topic unattended, I am providing for you a step by step guide on “How To Do A DBS”.  You will be amazed and mystified.



#1 – The before surgery prep work: If you know how to read an MRI, you’ll want to get one of those taken care of so you will be able to determine where you want your wire to go.  With that said, you should probably do some sort of research to find out where neurosurgeons are choosing to place that little element.


You’ll want to see a nueropsychologist.  If you feel you can play both physician and patient, you can give yourself the tests.  Ink blot tests, quizzing you as to how much you remember from history class, a math test.  Before you test yourself on what you know, you can purchase books to refresh your memory at the Dollar Store.  I find the ones with Winnie the Pooh on the front are much more enjoyable.
After you’ve decided whether or not your brain is ready, you’ll want to consult with your doctor, but as you will be your own doctor, you must consult with yourself and decide if you are ready or not.
Should you decide ‘yes’, then continue reading.


#2 – The surgery prep: Prep your head…  The easiest way for a self-inflicted DBS surgery is just shave all of your hair off.  When you’ve gotten it shaved in such a way, that if you were standing by Howie Mandell, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between your head and his, you’re ready.
The next step will be making sure you are comfortable.  Since you will be in this position (sitting while you operate, not having your head in a brace as you would if someone were doing this for you) for quite a while.   When comfortable, run through the list of tools you have on your surgical tray to make sure you haven’t forgotten something.  It is difficult to have to stop during your self-surgery and have to go find the right tool (and frustrating to find one of the kids was playing with it and didn’t put it away).  The tools of utmost importance: drill, pliers, screwdriver (should you decide to use the head brace, although for self-surgeries, not highly recommended), wire, DBS implant, thread, needle, lots of rags (sterile – just in case you make a mistake).  Oh – and a phone nearby, in case you get going and realize you really ought to have had someone else do this.


#3 – The procedure: Now, this is where things get tricky, as I was asleep through a good chunk of my surgery, but I will guide you to the best of my ability and as my memory serves me (which by the way – often is not the best).  Just a heads up.


I forgot to tell you to have a razor on hand to shave your head if you haven’t done  it by now, so here’s hoping you read ahead  and haven’t come to this point yet, with a head full of hair or things may get pret-ty hair-y.


Now, I’m going to have to guess here, but you should make the incision about 2.1 inches long, right about 1.3 inches to the left of the middle of your forehead (right side if your PD is more prominent on the left side), but more on top of your head, but not too far back.  There will most likely be some blood at this point, but don’t get freaked out.  Move forward.


Get your drill.  I hope you’re using a battery operated drill (should have mentioned that earlier).  Electrical drills have cords that can get in the way.  If it’s too late, just be careful of that cord when it comes near the drill bit.  Oh yeah – I should have mentioned that too.  A 3/4″ bit is recommended to allow yourself plenty of room to push that wife down your neck, since you will be relying on faith and luck to get it right.


Drill a hole in your skull.  That’s right – while you’re awake.  It won’t hurt.  Trust me.


Now, pick up the wire and carefully insert it through the hole and push it down until you can feel it slide down your neck into your chest area near your heart, but don’t push it into your heart, as that could cause other problems.  Oh – I should have told you to snip that wire.  Hopefully you read ahead and will know to leave a smaller length to pushHHow todo a DBS…into the basal ganglia or this whole procedure is a wash.



I know you’re wondering if this really works. I don’t know, but they walk people through these kinds of things on TV all the time, so I don’t see why not.  And, you’re probably wondering how you can get the wire in the right spot.  Well, my doctor guided the neurosurgeon where to place my wire with his eyes closed.  It can be done.



Alas, you’re almost done.  Stitch up that incision you made at the top of your head.  Use the thread and the needle.
Remove stitches in approximately two weeks and voile – you did it!  However… you will need to see the neurosurgeon so that he can place the battery pack into your chest and hook it up to that wire in your chest.  Make sure the batteries are charged before inserting the pack.  Energizer batteries seem to keep going longest.  At least that’s what a big, fluffy, pink rabbit once told me.Let me know how this goes for you and the next time someone googles, “How to do DBS”, hopefully this post will help them find what they’re looking for.


Note/disclaimer: This procedure should not be tried at home – or anywhere else for that matter.  This type of surgery is best left to the professionals.  Please see your doctor to determine your DBS goals.


Journeying with you ~ Sherri


One thought on “How To Do A DBS

  1. a good friend of mine recently had DBS and the impact of the adjustments was taking forever (more than 3 months). We all began to feel he had been one of the unlucky ones.

    HOWEVER, he was having such difficulty he had fallen and broken his wrist. He absolutely couldn’t look after himself! We insisted that he go into hospital and have the neurosurgeons work with him. At the next appointment the neurosurgeon agreed and he didn’t go home – but straight into admitting and into a hospital bed.

    What happened next was miraculous! Now he has most of the benefits of DBS. His voice is still weak but stronger than it was.

    Our main concern at this point is physio for DBS patients….are their any programs that anyone knows of that help the regaining of balance, getting back up off the floor with ease, strength, etc…. Or are we worrying about nothing?

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