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Dr. Frank
Dr. Frank, Board Certified Physician
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 9000
Experience:  Board certified general Adult Neurologist, with experience in experimental neuroimaging and neurodiagnostics.
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I'm a 25 year old female that had open heart surgery at 5

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I'm a 25 year old female that had open heart surgery at 5 months (transposition of the great vessels) , my heart doctor said my surgery and my heart are all very good . I have had a seizure issue for the last 6 years . Mostly controlled but some partial seizure break through maybe one a week . A 3 anti-seizure med. has not worked .
Am I a candidate for the Vagus Nerve Stimulator ,my Neurologist gave me the info. knowing my health history ??
neuromd2012 :

Welcome to Just Answer. I am an Adult Neurologist and was contacted to answer your question.

neuromd2012 :

hello are you there?

Customer:

yes sir

neuromd2012 :

hi

neuromd2012 :

so what are the three meds you take?

neuromd2012 :

would you know your EEG results?

Customer:

Keppra, Vimpat and Tegretol

neuromd2012 :

I see, and you still have breakthrough seizures?

Customer:

No I do not know the results. I am still have breakthrough seizures about once every three or four weeks that last only 30 seconds or so.

neuromd2012 :

do you have an "aura"

Customer:

No sir

neuromd2012 :

oh ok

neuromd2012 :

so that is probably why you are a candidate

neuromd2012 :

you do meet criteria, as you are on three meds and still have breakthrough

neuromd2012 :

and your seizure type sounds like primary generalized/

neuromd2012 :

the eeg would confirm that

Customer:

My neurologist gave me some information on VNS, but I read that with some cardiac patients this device may not be recommended

neuromd2012 :

If you have a problem at your AV node,

neuromd2012 :

or if you are on a pacer

neuromd2012 :

pacemaker

Customer:

I am not on a pacer and do not know what AV node is

neuromd2012 :

but with transposition, I assume you do not have a problem with your AV node

neuromd2012 :

AV node is an area in your heart

neuromd2012 :

that regulates your heart rhythym and rate

neuromd2012 :

if your heart rate is over 60

neuromd2012 :

it would be unlikely to be effected

Customer:

No, I do take Lanoxin, but I have had no probems

neuromd2012 :

I see

neuromd2012 :

hang on

neuromd2012 :

ok

neuromd2012 :

just checking.

neuromd2012 :

no contraindication unless you have AV nodal block or a pacemaker

neuromd2012 :

and you do not have those problems

Customer:

no sir I don't. Could you suggest where in South Carolina that I could contact about the VNS procedure?

neuromd2012 :

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296971/

neuromd2012 :

here is an article on all devices for epilepsy

neuromd2012 :

how far are you from St Augustine?

neuromd2012 :

Florida?

neuromd2012 :

One larger center for VNS is at the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville

neuromd2012 :

let me look for other places closer

neuromd2012 :

hang on

Customer:

To drive 4 or 5 hours, my open heart surgery was done at Medical University in Charleston
South Carolina

Customer:

Do you know how much this procedure generally cost, I do have group health insurance (just an estimate)

neuromd2012 :

http://www.bcm.edu/psych/mdoc/research/vnsintro.pdf

neuromd2012 :

here is an article from the Univ. of South Carolina.

neuromd2012 :

It is expensive without insurance.

neuromd2012 :

the prices vary, but with hospitalization costs, you have to consider 35 to 40 K

neuromd2012 :

but insurance usually covers the majority of this expense

Customer:

How do you feel about this procedure, are there any serious side effects? If I were your daughter would you want her to do this?

neuromd2012 :

HI. Yes. I would let me daughter do it if she is on three meds, and still having seizures

neuromd2012 :

you should be able to reduce the number of meds

neuromd2012 :

maybe get off everything, not everyone can do that

neuromd2012 :

serious side effects are usually that it stops working

neuromd2012 :

that you can have scarring at the site of implantation

neuromd2012 :

around the vagus nerve

neuromd2012 :

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1186123-overview

Customer:

Thank you for time in answering my questions. I feel better about this and will share your answers with my concerned parents.

neuromd2012 :

here is some more information on VNS

neuromd2012 :

good luck

neuromd2012 :

Dr Frank T

Customer:

God Bless you

neuromd2012 :

you too

neuromd2012 :

bye

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