VNS Therapy™ Procedure FAQs

Find answers to commonly asked questions about the VNS Therapy™ implant procedure

VNS Therapy™ Procedure FAQs

Implant Procedure

What is the procedure like?

VNS Therapy® is not brain surgery. A small device (generator) is implanted in the chest and a thin wire (lead) connects the device to the vagus nerve in the neck. This outpatient procedure usually takes 1 to 2 hours, which involves two small incisions and is typically performed under general anesthesia.

Will the scars be noticeable?

Each person has different healing and scarring results. You should expect some scarring from the procedure. If scarring is a special concern for you, we recommend discussing this with your surgeon.

Are there risks linked with the surgery?

The most common side effect of the VNS Therapy®implant procedure is infection. As with most surgical procedures, there are some standard risks. Your neurologist and surgeon will discuss these risks with you.

What happens after the procedure?

Most people go home the same day or the day following the procedure. Your doctor will schedule follow up appointments to program and fine-tune your stimulation settings.

Will the implanted device be visible to others?

The generator is small,not more than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter depending on the model. If you have a small or thin frame, the shape of the device may be visible below the left collarbone. The lead is tunneled under the muscle and will not be visible. If this is a concern for you, we recommend discussing with your doctor.

Will the procedure be covered by my insurance?

Many insurance companies cover the cost of VNS Therapy®, including Medicare and Medicaid. Call 1-888-867-7846 to have one of our Care Coordinator help verify your benefits

What to Expect: The VNS Therapy Procedure

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VNS Therapy Safety Profile

The most common side effects of VNS Therapy include:

Shortness of breath
Sore throat

These side effects generally only occur during stimulation and usually decrease over time.

Infection is the most common side effect of the procedure.

You can find more safety information here.