Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

After the operation

23 February 2009
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'After the operation' image

Follow up


You will continue to take your Anti-seizure medication as prescribed by your Doctor. You will follow up with your neurology team who will manage your VNS settings. You will have appointments regularly to 'ramp up' your VNS settings to a level where it is helping to stop, shorten or reduce the severity of your seizures. Each person's response is unique, however it may be up to a year before you notice any change in your seizures.

Possible Side Effects

VNS therapy may cause side effects during the time that the nerve is being stimulated. Side effects usually reduce over time or with adjustments to your VNS setting. Some common side effects are – hoarseness, coughing.

No Response to VNS therapy

If you have no response to VNS your Neurologist may consider having the device switched off or removed. If you have your VNS removed, the leads are usually left in place; this may cause problems if you need MRI imaging at a later stage. It is usually recommended to leave the device in place, switched off. If VNS therapy has no effect on your seizures, it may have other positive effects, such as improved mood, alertness and wellbeing

MRI scan and VNS therapy

If you have a VNS device and need an MRI, you must have your VNS switched off before the scan and switched back on afterwards. You can arrange this with your Neurology team. Certain MRI scanners are not suitable for patients with VNS; your Neurology team will advise you about this. 

CT scans and X-Rays do not affect VNS therapy.


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