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Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

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A Device for Treating Seizures & Epilepsy

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a palliative procedure that can effectively improve seizure control. While it doesn’t guarantee seizure freedom, VNS can, in the long-term, enable patients to reduce their dosages of anti-epileptic drugs.

If you would like to get VNS therapy in Fort Collins or Loveland, reach out to Alpine Ear, Nose, & Throat, P.C. to begin your treatment!

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VNS Therapy may help control seizures by…

  • Increasing blood flow to critical areas of the brain
  • Raising neurotransmitter levels
  • Changing EEG (electroencephalogram) patterns during seizures
  • Monitoring for irregular heart rates and providing extra bursts of stimulation to help stop seizures

VNS Therapy for Epilepsy

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of VNS for treating seizures back in 1997. It is a treatment generally available to individuals who have tried two or more anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), which were not adequately effective at controlling their seizures. VNS therapy is not a replacement for anti-epileptic drugs, but is to be used alongside them.

The goal of VNS for people with epilepsy is to reduce the strength, length, and number of seizures. Patients with epilepsy have reported the following improvements in their condition due to vagus nerve stimulation:

  • Improved memory and cognitive abilities
  • Improved mood
  • Fewer or less severe seizures
  • Faster post-seizure recovery
  • Better mood
  • Fewer visits to the emergency room

When Is VNS Useful?

VNS is not used for all cases of epilepsy. It is typically only used for people who have refractory or drug-resistant epilepsy in cases when normal seizure medication is proving insufficiently effective. Adding VNS therapy to your seizure treatment plan can help reduce frequency and severity, but expectations should remain tempered.

Is VNS Right For You?

If you suffer from medication-resistant epilepsy, Vagus Nerve Stimulation may be beneficial for you. If you are in Fort Collins or Loveland, schedule a preliminary appointment with Alpine ENT to get started. Our five board-certified physicians have served Northern Colorado for a combined total of more than 40 years, always seeking to provide the highest quality patient care and patient-physician relationship.

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