Adding VNS Therapy has been shown to provide sustained efficacy and clinical benefits that improve over time1
With a unique mechanism of action,2 VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) Therapy offers significant advantages for patients with TRD. Patients benefit from efficacy that improves over time and is sustained long term.1 Quality-of-life benefits
also improve over time.3 VNS Therapy provides assured adherence and high continuation rates, as well as an impressive
safety and tolerability profile, with side effects that typically decrease over time.1 Adding VNS Therapy has been shown to succeed where other treatments have failed.1
VNS Therapy involves a straightforward procedure
VNS Therapy consists of an implanted pacemaker-like pulse generator and a nerve stimulation electrode
, which deliver intermittent stimulation to the patient's left vagus nerve. The actual procedure takes approximately 1 hour and does not involve the brain. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis by otolaryngologists, vascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, or general surgeons.4 The surgical complication rate is low, with an infection rate of 1.7%.5
The procedure requires two small incisions: one in the left chest area, below the collarbone, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long. The VNS Therapy pulse generator is placed just under the skin. The other incision is made in a natural crease in the left side of the neck, which is 1 to 2 inches long. From here, electrodes are wrapped around the vagus nerve in the neck. A thin, flexible wire then connects the electrodes to the pulse generator.
Hear from a physician
"VNS Therapy is delivered by a small implantable device, and that is typically implanted in the left chest, just under the skin. From there, electrical leads are connected, through a second incision to the left vagus nerve. This whole procedure takes about an hour. It's typically conducted as an outpatient and the patient is free to go home, typically, after the procedure is completed. After that the dose is adjusted by the physician at office visits."
—Dr. A. John Rush, Vice Chair, Department of Clinical Sciences Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
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1.Rush AJ, Sackeim HA, Marangell LB, et al. Effects of 12 months of vagus nerve stimulation in treatment-resistant depression: a naturalistic study. Biol Psychiatry. 2005;58:355-363.
2. George MS, Nahas Z Bohning D, et al. Vagus nerve stimulation: a new form of therapeutic brain stimulation. CNS Spectrums .2000;5:2-11.
3. Physician's Manual. VNS TherapyTM Pulse Model 102 Generator and VNS TherapyTM Pulse Duo Model Generator. Houston, Tex: Cyberonics, Inc; 2006.
4. Cyberonics, Inc. Epilepsy Patient's Manual for Vagus Nerve Stimulation with the VNS Therapy System. Houston, Tex; 2004.
5. Data on file. Cyberonics, Inc.