Read this D Magazine Feature on Deep Brain Stimulation

If you’re like me—and you’re not, because you’re a doctor or nurse or something else brilliant—you’ll be surprised to hear that it’s actually possible and at times advisable for a surgeon to drill a hole in a person’s head while that person is still fully awake. I am still astonished by that little factoid. It’s one of many that made reporting this feature for D Magazine so fun.

To accompany the magazine’s Collin County Doctors series—view the best of them, as selected by their peers, here—I wrote about deep brain stimulation, a procedure once tagged by Smithsonian as “the most futuristic medical treatment ever imagined.” The neurosurgeon at the heart of our story practices out of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano and has been performing the procedures as long as anyone. He yawns at its technicality.

To execute a DBS, a surgeon drills a hole in the skull and inserts a device deep in the brain; thereafter, constant electrical pulses calm movement disorders like Parkinson’s and Essential Tremor. And, yes, the patient is almost always kept awake throughout.

Read the story right here.


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