After your operation we advise that you do not drive for at least 6 weeks. DVLA rules and regulations are frequently updated so we advise you to check this with the DVLA at www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions; (look under implanted electrodes or deep brain stimulation for movement disorder or pain).
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
After the operation you should not have a MRI scan without discussing this with the DBS team. It may not be possible to have a MRI scan because of the implanted device.
Other surgery or medical procedures including dentistry
You may need a surgical procedure sometime in the future after your DBS operation (such as a joint replacement or spinal surgery). Your surgical team will need to know that you have a DBS device implanted before performing surgery, and may need to take some precautions (such as turning off the device). We advise you to have prophylactic antibiotics if you need dental work or procedures involving either a general anaesthetic or urinary catheterisation in order to try to avoid bacteria settling on the DBS hardware and causing infection.
Diathermy (also known as electrocautery)
This is when an electric current is used to heat body tissues during surgery in order to seal blood vessels. If possible, only bipolar diathermy should be used in operations. However if only monopolar is available then the high voltage mode should be avoided. The power setting should be kept as low as possible and the ground plate should be kept as far away from the neurostimulator, extension and leads as possible.
Other devices or equipment to avoid
Avoid security screening devices such as those in airports. When approaching them hand over your patient identification card and request a search by hand.
Other tests or scans
X-rays, CT scans and PET scans are not likely to affect the DBS system.
Devices that you can operate without any problem
Computers, copiers, faxes, electric blankets, heating pads, washing machines, dryers, garage door openers, electric stoves, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, shavers, remote controls, toasters, blenders, electric can openers, food processors, microwave ovens, televisions, radios, video recorders, CD players, mobile phone and tablets.
After the surgical scars are healed (usually at least 6 weeks) you can return to most physical activities except for those that result in repeated blows to the device such as boxing. You should always wear a helmet for sports such as cycling, skiing, snowboarding and horse riding. You should avoid parachute jumping and skydiving.
You should not fly until 6 weeks after the operation.
If you have any questions please ask the staff.