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What is Parkinson’s Surgery?

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What is Parkinson’s Surgery?

What is Parkinson’s Surgery?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the central nervous system and causes problems, especially with movement control. This disease occurs due to the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. It is characterized by symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slow movement and balance problems. Although there are many treatment options for Parkinson’s disease, surgical intervention may also be considered in some cases. Parkinson’s surgery is a treatment method used to relieve the patient’s symptoms and improve the quality of life. These surgical interventions are generally considered in cases where drug therapy and other traditional methods cannot be coped with or do not yield effective results. Parkinson’s disease causes the loss of nerve cells and affects movement control. Parkinson’s surgery usually focuses on relieving or eliminating motor control problems.

What are the Treatment Methods in Parkinson’s Surgery?

Parkinson’s is a disease that is usually tried to be controlled using medications in the early stages. This disease may require surgical intervention in advanced cases. Parkinson’s surgery involves a number of treatment methods that are effective in managing symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life. Parkinson’s surgery options are basically:

  • Deep Brain Stimulation (Brain Stimulator): Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure that allows a small device, also known as a brain pacemaker, to be placed in the brain to stimulate nerve cells regularly. This device usually consists of a generator placed in the chest area and electrodes implanted in the brain. These electrodes aim to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms by sending electrical signals to specific brain regions. Brain stimulation surgery usually takes place in three stages. In the first stage, surgeons create maps of specific brain regions and determine the optimal points to place the electrodes. Next, the generator and electrodes are implanted. In the final stage of the surgical process, the device is programmed and adjusted according to the specific needs of the patient. After surgery, patients usually experience significant improvement and reduction in symptoms. Improving patients’ quality of life, reducing drug-related side effects, and improving movement control can be counted among the advantages of brain pacemakers. However, as with every surgical intervention, neurostimulation surgery also involves certain risks. Risks such as infection, generator failure, or electrode placement complications should be considered when evaluating this surgical option.
  • Ablative Surgery: Ablative surgery is a method that aims to relieve Parkinson’s symptoms by damaging certain areas of the patient’s brain in a controlled manner. This surgical procedure is usually considered in patients who do not respond to drug therapy or cannot tolerate the side effects of medications. Surgeons create a brain map of the patient and determine the targeted areas. The uncontrolled activity of the cells is regulated by applying energy to the determined areas via laser or electrode. In the post-surgical period, patients generally experience a significant recovery process. However, individual differences should be taken into account. Ablative surgery can significantly relieve symptoms, reduce dependence on medications, and improve the patient’s quality of life. However, this surgical option also carries risks. Interventions performed inside the brain are always risky, and possible complications may include infection and extreme loss of movement control.
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How to Plan Treatment for Parkinson’s Surgery?

The treatment process includes a detailed evaluation of the patient’s general health condition and Parkinson’s symptoms. Before surgery is recommended, the patient’s neurological status is examined in detail. This examination evaluates the severity and prevalence of symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and balance problems. Conditions that indicate surgical options are necessary include:

  • Failure to Respond to Drug Treatment: Many Parkinson’s patients take medication to control symptoms. However, despite medications, symptoms may not be under control.
  • Drug Side Effects and Tolerance: Side effects of medications may become intolerable in some patients.
  • Limitation of Movement and Difficulty in Daily Activities: As Parkinson’s disease progresses, movement limitation may increase and difficulties may arise in daily activities.
  • Decrease in Dopamine Activity: Dopamine production decreases in Parkinson’s patients. Surgery can increase dopamine activity by intervening in certain areas of the brain.
  • Fluctuations and Dyskinesias: In addition to drug treatment, patients may develop motor fluctuations (fluctuations) and dyskinesias (involuntary movements).
  • Reducing Drug Addiction: Surgery can reduce a patient’s dependence on medication, which can keep side effects of medications to a minimum.

When surgery is decided, a brain map is created for ablative and stimulation methods, which are among the surgical options. This map allows surgeons to intervene in specific areas with precision. The specialist physician explains in detail the surgical options appropriate to the patient’s condition. The advantages and risks of different methods such as ablative surgery and brain stimulation (DBS) are shared with the patient. An individualized treatment plan is created based on the patient’s general health status, lifestyle and preferences. This plan includes the type of surgical intervention, process, and expectations.

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The Role of Parkinson’s Surgery in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs due to damage to nerve cells. For patients who do not respond to traditional treatment methods or cannot cope with side effects, Parkinson’s surgery can offer a number of important benefits. The benefits of Parkinson’s surgery for patients include:

  • Significant Decrease in Symptoms: Parkinson’s surgery can be particularly effective at relieving the disease’s main symptoms, such as tremors, muscle stiffness, and slow movement. This may help patients perform their daily living activities more comfortably.
  • Decrease in Drug Use: In cases where patients cannot tolerate Parkinson’s medications or the medications are not effective, surgical intervention may be considered. Parkinson’s surgery can improve patients’ quality of life by offering the potential to reduce or, in certain cases, discontinue medication use.
  • Improvement in Mobility: The aim of Parkinson’s surgery is to help patients perform their daily living activities more comfortably. Improvement in mobility can increase patients’ independence and improve their standard of living.
  • Improvement in Motor Functions: Surgical interventions can improve patients’ motor functions. This improvement can help you become better able to cope with motor difficulties such as limited mobility, imbalance, and coordination problems.
  • Emotional and Psychosocial Healing: Controlling symptoms can help patients achieve emotional and psychosocial recovery. Their ability to become more independent and cope with daily life challenges can improve overall mood and life satisfaction.
  • Long Term Efficacy: Parkinson’s surgery may be effective in the long term. In particular, brain stimulation can be successful in keeping symptoms under control with its long-term results. This effectiveness may contribute to the sustainability of treatment results.
  • Increase in Quality of Life: Controlling symptoms and reducing medication use after Parkinson’s surgery can improve patients’ overall quality of life. This can positively impact social interactions, daily activities, and mental health.
  • Individual Adaptation Possibility: Parkinson’s surgery can be performed according to the individual needs and conditions of patients. This shows that surgical intervention is a customizable treatment option.
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Parkinson’s surgeries may not be suitable for everyone and may involve risks. Therefore, surgical options should be evaluated by a specialist healthcare team depending on factors such as the patient’s individual condition, symptom severity and general health status.

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